Dromiskin Monastery, Round Tower and High Cross, Louth, Ireland

I was delighted to be able to visit the ruins at Dromiskin on the first Sunday of February this year. A monastery was founded here in the sixth century, possibly by St Patrick. The round tower was plundered many times during the course of its history, by natives in 908, followed by the Danes in 978 before being plundered again by the Irish in 1043! The Round Tower is an unusual but impressive sight, standing 17 metres high with five large bell story windows and a Romanesque arch doorway  It is believed the tower was heavily damaged during its early years and the upper portion was rebuilt around the 12th century and used as a bell tower, up until the 1800s.

Also in close vicinity to the tower is the head of a tenth century cross. In 1918 the head of the cross had to be re-erected on a granite base. The east facing side of the cross bears some carvings, the left arm depicting a hunting scene and the right arm showing a horse carrying a headless torso and a man carrying the head, this is believed to be in reference to the story of David and Goliath, Beside the cross is a gable that remains one of the few remaining parts of the 12th century monastery and a beautiful 15th century window.

The ruins of St Margaret’s protestant church that stands on the site were built in 1821 and are in a serious state of disrepair. The graveyard is dotted with many unusual and ornate gravestones some of which I have included in my photos.

GPS: 53.922, -6.39819

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