The 10th century Swords Round Tower is 26 m high and is instantly recognizable from it’s crumbling windows and collapsed cap. The tower also possesses a stone cross at it’s apex, something that is shared with few other towers. The very low doorway is also unusual, but is most likely due to the ground level being raised, rather than being built at ground level. The tower is difficult to photograph because the site is heavily treed and the tower and medieval belfry are situated so close together. A monastery here was reputedly founded by St. Columba in 512 and as with many of the monasteries near Dublin, a long and violent period of burning, pillaging and destruction by the Irish and Vikings were recorded over several centuries. After the battle of Clontarf in 1014 the bodies of King Brian Boru and his son Murrough rested here overnight on their way to Armagh for burial. The square belfry that stands beside the round tower is the only remaining relic of a medieval church built in the 14th century.

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