ME01059 - MORNINGTON - Watchtower

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Built in the sand dunes on the S side of the estuary of the River Boyne. This medieval tower was built to provide advance notice of ships approaching the harbour of Drogheda, but there are no historical references to it. It is known as the ‘Maiden Tower’, probably because it was built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and there is a record of a similar watchtower built in that reign at Poolbeg in Dublin (D’Alton 18444, vol. 2, 450-1). The tower hasn’t changed since it was first illustrated by William Wilde (1849, 263). It is a square masonry structure (ext. dims 3.35m x 3.35m) as recorded by Kieran Campbell that tapers slightly towards the stepped battlements (H c. 19m). It was entered by a doorway on the N side that is 1.2m over the present ground, but this is permanently sealed now. A newel or spiral stairs, lit by plain lights, leads to the top which is covered by a barrel vault. A trapdoor in the roof allowed access onto the parapet, which it has been suggested was rebuilt in the nineteenth century (Casey and Rowan 1993). The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research. See the attached view from the W, courtesy of Kieran Campbell Compiiled by: Michael Moore Date of revision: 21 September 2021 Casey, C. and Rowan, A. J. 1993 North Leinster. Buildings of Ireland Series, Penguin

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

53.7226, -6.25159

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