Armoy Round Tower stands in the grounds of St Patrick's
Church of Ireland Church, it is all that remains of a monastery
founded around 460 AD by Saint Olcán, a relative of the Dalriade
king Tirechan and disciple of saint Patrick. Text from the late
7th century relate that Patrick consecrated Olcán bishop
of Dun Sobairche (Dunseverick) and
gave him a portion of the relics of Peter and Paul and others and
a veil to protect the relics.
The tower now stands about 11 m (36 ft) high, its original
height is unknown, it is thought it may have been as much as 6 m
taller, it was built in the 11th or 12th century as a free standing
bell tower. Sometime before 1869 the tower was modified to serve
as belfry for the church, in 1869 the present bell tower of the
church was built, making the tower redundant.
The narrow entrance door is now 1.6 m (5
ft 3in) above ground level origonally it would have been higher
the groung level having been raised over the centuries. The inside
of the tower was excevated in 1843 by Edmund Getty, he excevated
to a depth of 3.6 m (11 ft 9in) below the level of the sill he uncovered
a scull he believed to be that of a chief killed in battle, the
scull had part of the spinal colum attached.
Roadworks in 1997 near the church
uncovered a souterrain and an underground stone passage about 1,000
years old. A subsequent archaelogical execavation revealed evidence
of a medeival building aligned north south beneath the present church.
Many burials were found inside the modern church including the feet
of a leper 400 to 500 years old.