St Columba, Brian Boru & a crumbling Round Tower

This c.10th round tower and c.14th belfry are located in the town of Swords in North County Dublin. The tower stands 26 m high and is instantly recognizable from it’s crumbling windows and collapsed cap. It also possesses a stone cross at its apex, something that is shared with few other towers. The very low doorway is also unusual but is more likely due to the ground level being raised over time. The tower is difficult to photograph because the site is heavily treed. St Columba reputedly founded a monastery here in 512 and as with many of the monasteries near Dublin had centuries of burning, pillaging, and destruction by the Irish and Vikings.  It is also reputed that the bodies of Brian Boru and his son Murrough rested here overnight on their way to Armagh for burial after the battle of Clontarf. The square belfry that stands beside the round tower is the only remaining relic of a medieval church built in the 14th century. (Sord-‘clear or pure’)