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Feature Sets (1)


An incomplete round tower (h. 10.00 m) with a tall, narrow doorway near the top with inclined jambs and a flat lintel. The lower two courses on the L and the lower three courses on the R are carved with a shallow angle-roll flanked by a fine roll. There is a later round-headed doorway just above ground level. There is a window in the tower with an arcuated lintel, splayed on the interior. No sculpture.


An Early Irish Monastery was founded at Balla by St Mochua (Cronan) (d. 637) who was also the abbot. The Annals of Ulster record that the Abbey was burned in 780. Knox records that the Abbey, or at least the town, was also attacked in later centuries.



Lalor suggests that the tower is 12thc.


  • M. Archall, Monasticon Hibernicum, or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland : interspersed with memoirs of their several founders and benefactors, and of their abbots and other superiors, to the time of their final suppression, Dublin, 1786, 493.
  • M. Killanin and M. Duignan, The Shell Guide to Ireland,London, 1962, 2nd ed. 1967, 80.
  • A. Gwynn and R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses in Ireland, 1970, London, 30.
  • P. Harbison, , Guide to the National and Historical Monuments of Ireland, Dublin, 1992, 241.
  • H. Knox, Notes on the Early History of the Dioceses of Tuam, Killala, and Achonry, Dublin, 1904, 135-9
  • B. Lalor., The Irish Round Towers, Cork, 1999, 189-91.
  • G. Petrie, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland, anterior to the Anglo-Norman invasion, comprising an Essay on the origin and uses of the Round Towers of Ireland, Dublin, 1845, 453.
Round tower.
Doorway in round tower.
Doorway in round tower.
Arcuated lintel in wall of round tower.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
M 26 85 
now: Mayo
Type of building/monument
Round tower  
Report authors
Hazel Gardiner