Portrane Round Tower, Dublin, Ireland

This striking tower, standing near the coast at Portrane, is not a round tower in the classic sense instead it is a 160 year old memorial to George Evans MP, erected by his wife Sophia Evans Parnell in 1844. The Evan’s had lived at Portrane House, whose lands later became home to St Ita’s, the notorious asylum. George Hampden Evans was a member of Parliament for Dublin as an independent. During the earlier part of his career he was highly critical of Daniel O Connell but in 1834 both men jointly formed the Anti-Tory Association in Dublin. Evans was re-elected twice more before losing his seat in 1841. He died suddenly in 1842 at Portrane House from what was described as ‘an attack of flying gout to the heart’. Sophia modelled the tower on the beautiful specimen at St Brigids Cathedral in Kildare town. The base of the tower has a circumference of 17metres, the arched doorway and windows are a lot larger than those on our original round towers. Formerly the tower included a bust of George Evans but this was later taken to Oxford University. Sophia died in France in 1853 and was brought back to be buried beside her husband in Portrane. The lands of Portrane House were sold by the 1880s and eventually used ti erect St Ita’s asylum in the 1890s due to overcrowding at the Richmond Hospital.

GPS: 53.48747, -6.10713

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