Armoy Round Tower, County Antrim

From The Illustrated Dublin Journal, Volume 1, Number 25, February 22,1862

Firm was their faith, the ancient bands,
The wise in heart, in wood and stone,
Who rear'd with stern and trusting hands
The dark grey towers of days unknown.

ON the Antrim coast, within about four miles of Ballycastle and one of Kenbaan Head, stands the remains of the Round Tower of Armoy. About thirty-four feet of this ancient structure is still in a tolerable good state of preservation. It differs in some respects from the three other towers to be met with in the same county, Antrim, Trummery, and Ram's Island.

The Round Towers were a prodigious puzzle to antiquarians. Quires of paper tall as a tower, have been covered with as much ink as might form a Liffey, in accounting for their origin and use. They have been assigned to the dark rites of Paganism--to the mystic arcana of Druidism--said to be temples of the fire worshippers--standings of the pillar worshippers--Christian belfries--military towers of the Danish invaders--defensive retreats for the clergy, from the sudden inroads of the ruthless Norman. But all these clever and recondite conjectures were completely overthrown, and the real nature of these Round Towers clearly explained, in a Prize Essay, presented to the Royal Irish Academy, by Dr. Petrie. Sixty-five of these extraordinary constructions have been discovered and described in Ireland. There are generally the marks of five or six stories in each tower; the doors are from thirteen to twenty feet from the ground, and so low, that none can enter except by stooping.


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