Maghera Church and Round Tower

Maghera, United Kingdom

It is believed that Saint Domangard or Donard founded a monastery in Maghera in the early christian period, c. 500 AD. He lived as a hermit on Slieve Donard, a nearby mountain that is named after him. There are no antiquities remaining from the early foundation but excavations in 1965 produced evidence of occupation around the tower during the Early Christian period. The medieval church situated behind the more modern church probably dates to the 12th century. It is much harder to date the round tower as there are no features such as windows or doors that normally help in dating round towers.

The tower, which is built from rough uncoursed granite field-stones similar to the tower at Castledermot, is believed to have fallen in the 18th century as a result of storm damage. All we see today is a 5.4 metre high stump with a large breech on the eastern side of the tower. This may represent the position of the doorway, suggesting a rather low entrance. The diameter of the tower at base level is 4.85 metres. The stones used in the building of the tower suggest a 10th century date but is not definite proof.

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Founded: 10th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Brian Couchman (8 months ago)
A really delightful place to visit.
Brendan Duff (9 months ago)
Amazing little piece of history.
PW (9 months ago)
Beautiful and tranquil church grounds. An interesting historic monument too in the adjoining field. The church grounds also have nice views of The Mourne Mountains on a good day. The church grounds consist of the both the newer church and graveyard plus the ruins of the older church and graveyard. Both graveyards are immaculately maintained and considerable time and effort has been put in to restore the old graveyard grounds which was wildly overgrown not so many years ago. Well worth a visit if you are in the area and want to enjoy some peace and solitude.
Jack Barron (2 years ago)
Beautiful old church
Thomas Annett (3 years ago)
Quiet location, nice historical site usually your own your own when you visit.
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