Domnach-mor muighe Echnach
A monastery was reputedly founded
the site of Donaghmore Round Tower in the 5th century and left it
in the care of Saint Cassan. Nothing visible on the site today dates
from this period, the tower is thought to date from the 11th or
12th centuries, it was unsympathetically restored in 1843. The tower
rises to a height of 26 meters (85ft 2") and is about 5 meters
diameter (16ft 5") at the base, with the east facing doorway
about 3.3 meters (10ft 9") above ground level this was a common
feature of Irish round towers, see image on the right.
Donaghmore church and tower
is situated about one mile from Navan on the road to Slane, the
present church dates from the thirteenth century, typical of of
the style of architecture erected by the Anglo Normans in that period.
The round tower can most likely
be attributed to the period of Viking invasions in the ninth and
tenth centuries, Donaghmore Round Tower at the round tower at Kells
monastery, founded by St. Columbkille in the sixth century have
many architectural features in common, some scholars are of the
opinion that the towers may have shared common architects or builders.
That is not to say that they were built in the sixth century, round
towers in Ireland only began to appear around 900 AD, most likely
as a response to Viking raids although as history tells the Irish
were not adverse to attacking each other, even the saintly monastery's
occasionally went to war.