From the 6th century onwards, as the Irish people embraced Christianity, great monastic centres were established all over the country. The medieval Round Towers of Ireland were built approximately between the 9th and 12th centuries and through time have become a source of historical puzzlement. Probably originally intended as bell-towers, they also served as places of refuge for the religious community and their precious relics during times of invasion and persecution.
They are, however, an enduring image of the Christian faith in Ireland. These magnificent stone structures proudly stand up to 130ft high and their construction is a testament to the ingenuity of the early Christians in Ireland. It is thought that there were once about one hundred and twenty of these imposing structures but unfortunately most now lie in ruins, with less than twenty surviving in almost perfect condition.