Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Aghaviller Round Tower and Church

Aghaviller Round Tower and Church
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington


Round Tower and Church

Located in county Kilkenny, Aghaviller Round Tower and Church are together one of the most interesting of Irish Historic sites. Based on the presence of the round tower, it is believed that the Agherviller monastic settlement was once a relatively high-status ecclesiastical foundation dating back to Early Christian times. The church and a holy well not far from the site have been dedicated to St Brennain. We don’t know who founded the monastery but it could have been St Brennain. The round tower is built on top of a square stone plinth, an unusual feature which is only found in one other place in Ireland –at nearby Kilree. Sadly, only the lower 9.6 metres of the round tower survived.

The original NE facing round-arched doorway is in its customary location about 4 metres above ground level, although a ground-level lintelled doorway has been added in more recent times. The sandstone tower was unfortunately in deep shade from the nearby dense woods on our late afternoon visit, but it is worth a return trip in morning light to photograph the stonework which is beautifully dressed to the curve inside and out. There is a southwest facing square-headed window at the second storey level.

The church dates to the 12th Century but was significantly modified in the 15th by the addition of a massive tower over the chancel that served as a residence. Only the foundation of the nave remains. An archaeological excavation revealed a gully filled with kiln material and a sizeable ditch/boundary running north–south with stone revetting on its eastern side. This ditch is believed to have surrounded a second or outer enclosure, a common feature of high-status monastic sites.


4 responses

  1. Wow Nigel I love how the tree are growing through the brick! Nice angles! Love that one with the light from the window shining up! 🙂

    July 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    • Thank you Michelle , I love this old place , so I am very pleased you enjoyed this post 🙂

      July 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      • Yes I love all the history you share. I’ve been watching a lot of BBC shows that show the beautiful countryside over there. It’s fascinating to me. 🤗🤗🌼🌼

        July 13, 2017 at 1:35 pm

  2. These are amazing shots, and so much more powerful in B&W. Love them!

    July 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

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