Did A Lonesome Bell Ever Ring Out Over Ardmore Bay?
For any visitor to Ardmore, there’s a historic presence forever in your heart.
And, there’s no better way to understand the past than by walking around the historic sites of Ardmore.
Most visitors soon find that no structure strikes more of a chord with visitors than the Round Tower of Ardmore. Especially, as it looms large over the skyline of this wonderful village.
Many have also pondered on what was the purpose of the Tower? And, some have even speculated whether there used to be anything contained within the Tower.
For example, in the Tour In Ireland, (1806) printed By William Savage, Bedford Burt there is some additional discussion on whether there was a bell in the tower.
The same author observes, in his History of Waterford, “that the Round Tower at Ardmore, had been evidently used as a belfry, as a part of the oak beam remained from which the bell was suspended; and that two channels were cut in the cill of the door, where the rope came out; and thus the bell was sounded by the ringer, who stood below on the outside of the doorway.”
In the first volume of the English Archaeologia, is a dissertation, (with a view) on the Round Tower of Ardmore, by Peter Collinson, which is little more than a repetition of the remarks made by Dr. Smith. This paper is answered in the second volume of the same work, by Owen Salusbury Brereton, Esq. who says, “When I lately made the tour of the south-west parts of Ireland, I saw several of these buildings, called usually Penitential Towers; not one of them had either belting or girting, nor the least sign of their having been any room in them, till within ten feet of the top: that room had windows exactly facing the cardinal points; from thence, downward to the entrance, which is about fifteen feet from the surface of the ground, only a few slits were cut, just to give light to persons going up and downstairs.” This author thinks them to be of Irish construction, but prior to the use of bells.
In the History of paganism in Caledonia, with an examination into the influence of Asiatic philosophy, and the gradual development of Christianity in Pictavia by Thomas Alexander Wise (1884) there is further discussion on the Round Tower in Ardmore.
He continues to discuss other aspects of Towers and ritual: