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Local Studies Department

Groses's Antiquities of Ireland: - County Kildare in the 1790's

KILDARE CHURCH AND ROUND TOWER AT KILCULLEN.

 

THIS is called Old Kilcullen to distinguish it from the new town of the same name. A monastery, it is said, was founded here very early by St. Patrick, who appointed St. Isernin bishop of it. He died in 469, and was succeeded by St. Mactalius, who was also St. Patrick's disciple, and deceased in the year 548. In 936, the church was plundered by the Ostmen, who spread desolation through the country; in 1036 it shared the same fate.
Kildare Church And Round Tower At Kilcullen - CLICK TO ENLARGE KILCULLEN was formerly of considerable strength; it had seven gates, only one of which remains, being ten feet wide, with a handsome arch. Maurice Jakis, Canon of Kildare, constructed in 1319, a bridge over the Liffey, about a mile north-west of the town, from which time Old Kilcullen went to decay.
THE round tower here has three stories and one rest; it is forty feet high, forty-four in circumference, three feet six inches in thickness, and the door seven feet from the ground. The present Church has a curious Arch standing in it, the interior circle of which is divided into lozenges adorned with various sculptures, but so defaced as not to be described.
IN the church-yard are the fragments of crosses, one is eleven feet long, ornamented with sculptures; and on the south side of the church is a carved stone, fifteen feet long, with the figure of a man in armour.
THIS View was drawn by lieutenant Daniel Grose.

(pp. 27-28, Vol. II)