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Cullin Tower

Cillin: Little Church of the Child's Burial Place


Many of the earlier writers described the tall slender tower which was said - probably erroneously - to have been 'lived in by an Earl of Desmond'. This was also called 'Caislean Caoimhin', or 'the Castle of young O'Keeffe'. It proably was originally a form of watch tower or guard house to the Franciscan Friary which once graced the place. It is now incorporated into the rear portion of the Catholic Church, where it can be recognised on a clear inspection, although it was freshly pointed and was cleverly incorporated into the 19th century church by the architect Charles Cotterel. Richard R Brash commented: 'Its position shows it to have occupied the external angle of the square plan of which all the Franciscan houses are constructed. One or more towers are generally connected with monastic edifice in this country, as at Ballbeg and at Bridgetown, both in this neighbourhood. In factmany of our ecclesiastical buildings were strongly fortified - of which Cashel in an illustration - a precaution rendered necessary by the troubled stare of the country during the middle ages.' This is sometimes referred to as 'Killenns Castle'. (1)


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(1) The Castles of County Cork With 72 line drawings and 10 maps by the author James N. Healy

Copyright © 1988 by James N. Healy, p. 325.

Material reproduced by permission of the publisher.


The Mercier Press Limited

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