This national monument is Monasterboice Round Tower. The name is derived from St Bhuithe who founded Monasterboice in the early 500’s. The 92ft tower is missing it’s conical roof and pokes up above the surrounding countryside with it’s jagged top. The original purposes of such a structure was to be a landmark, a bell tower and also to be a shelter for the monks and their valuables during Viking raids. The doorway on this one is placed 13ft above the ground so entry was only possible by a ladder which could be drawn up in times of danger. This strategy did not always work however. In 1097 the tower was attacked and burned along with the monastery‚Äôs library and other treasures. Before this, the tower was probably 108ft high. Other monuments on site are the 3 famous High Crosses. After the Cistercian abbey at Mellifont was established in 1142, Monasterboice was abandoned. A parish church was established on the site in the 13th century, and the remains of two small churches can still be seen.

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