Archaeology 360: Kilmacduagh Monastery. Part III: The Round Tower and Cathedral

If you've travelled with me on this 3D, 360-degree tour of Kilmacduagh, Co. Galway, you’ll have seen the O'Heyne's Church [here] and The Glebe House & Temple Mary [here] (and if not, why not? … go back & check them out … I’ll wait!). Well, now it’s time to move on to the concluding part and visit the Round Tower and Cathedral – the twin jewels of this delightful monastic site. The most striking element of the site is obviously the Round Tower. It dates to the 12th century and, standing 34m tall, it is the tallest surviving round tower. Famously, the tower deviates from the vertical and is often compared to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, mostly by people who’ve never been to Italy or seen a picture of just how much either tower actually leans.

The Cathedral building has a long and relatively complex history of construction, expansion, and renovation. It appears that the west wall of the Nave is the oldest surviving portion of the building and a blocked doorway (11th-12th century) can be seen in the west wall, while the remainder of the Nave dates to the beginning of the 13th century. During the 15th century the Cathedral underwent a significant programme of expansion and remodeling. At this time the north and south transepts were added, the chancel was rebuilt, and the south doorway, as well as the west window, were inserted. It is likely that the west doorway was blocked up at this time.

I’ve compiled the tour into a consecutive YouTube playlist [here], or you can access each video clip individually:

You can view this 360-degree video on an ordinary browser or on the dedicated YouTube app for your smartphone. However, for best results we recommend the more immersive experience that comes with an Oculus/Google Cardboard headset. Please feel free to Like and Share the video and Subscribe to the Archaeology 360 channel. If you’re feeling peculiarly generous and wish to help purchase snacks to sustain the Chapples Minor in the field, please drop something in the Tip Jar on this page.


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