Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The Round Towers of Ireland have been an enigma for centuries. Many researchers have mused that the towers were built by early Christian monks to be used for a variety of purposes; relic storage, belfries, lookout towers or even sanctuaries from raiders. While Christian monks may have utilized these towers for their own intents and purposes, the towers' true purpose may have been far from what modern day researchers believe.
Let's begin by looking at their construction. The round towers are built using a double wall method. This building style was common in ancient Rome but the Romans never made it to Ireland. At least no evidence has been found of Roman habitation in Ireland. The mortar used to hold the stones together is also of Roman design - a mixture of sand, lime, horsehair, and oxblood. A recipe not far from modern day mortar mixes but much stronger.
The stones are not always from local sources. All the towers which have been studied are constructed from paramagnetic stone.