This 65 ft round tower was “erected in the year 1785 by George, Earl of Tyrone, to his beloved son, his niece and friend”.
Marcus, the eldest son of 1st Marquess of Waterford was killed while jumping his horse over courtyard paling. He was only twelve. It is difficult to tell who was the niece, since George De La Poer Beresford was the eldest of fifteen children. The friend was Marcus’ French tutor Charles Polier de Bottens who died shortly after the tragic accident.
Over the years, there were people who came to this tower at their darkest moments. It is a mile long walk from the main road. Wish they had turned back.
I pass the entrance to the Curraghmore estate and drive up the hill. Gorgeous pheasant steps out of the grass and walks right in front of my car. I am trying to match the speed of the bird to take pictures.
I park and start walking through the conifer forest. The path is quite muddy – timber felling is in progress and the trucks have damaged the road. I turn around the corner. Here used to be Clonegam school, but it was burned down during the Civil War.
The Tower is inspired by the medieval Irish round tower. They say that the walls are about seven feet thick which I cannot confirm. I would rather say that the distance between the walls is about 10 feet. It was intended to build it 120 feet high, but it was left unfinished at the height of 70 feet.
Hanging around the tower I have a chat with a young man who used to climb to the roof and read books in solitude. Armed with some tips I start climbing the 92 step spiral stairway.
The door offers some light but further up there is a dark stretch until I reach the first window.
It is how I climb – from window to window.
Finally I see the sky. On the top there is a flat roof with a hole in the middle and a low parapet with some stones missing. I don’t dare to climb to the roof. The day is very windy so I just stay on the steps and look around.
I have found a fantastic drone shot by Jamie Malone. It is what the roof looks like.
The view from the Tower is stunning. I see the Curraghmore House and River Suir.
This is Croughaun Hill and Comeragh Mountains.
It is the time to climb down when I realise that it is possible that someone is making their way up right now, oblivious to me being there. I don’t like the thought, but I cannot stay here forever. I start my descent and finally reach the door and quickly get out.
There is a loop walk, but I take the same road because I have spotted some photogenic timber. Next time I will visit Curraghmore House and a special historical object that I want to share with you.
Here are three links to my previous blogs about Clonegam and the De la Poer family that I wrote last year.
Have a wonderful weekend!