The Disqualified Round Towers of Ireland

Tamlacht (Co. Derry)

visited 11 August 1998

A monastery was founded by St Columba in 585 at this site two and a quarter miles WxS from Limavady, in the bend of a side road. A visitation book of 1622 states that the church "remaineth ruinated". It had a tower on its north-west corner said to have been square at the base and round in the upper part with an opening into the nave at ground level. The church is now more "ruinated" than ever, and thickly overgrown. About 1.50m of the wall of the tower can still be seen projecting from the north side of the west end. It is round internally with a diameter of 1.62m, square externally with the north side 3.50m long. It was obviously a similar structure to those at Dungiven, Killeevy and Trummery. The site is locally known as Tamlacht. The first abbot who died in 585, was Finlangan and the modern church in Ballykelly, one and a quarter miles to the north-west, is known as Tamlacht-Finlangan but it does not seem that this name was ever applied to the old site. (B.)