« BackMajor works underway on one of Kerry’s oldest monuments

One of Kerry’s oldest and most significant historical monuments, is undergoing major works to make it structurally stable.

Anne Burgess [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rattoo Tower, just outside Ballyduff, is currently off limits to the public, while the Office of Public Works carries out the restoration work.

Located on the Tralee side of Ballyduff village, Rattoo Tower dates back to the tenth century and is one of just 13 intact round towers remaining in Ireland.

Standing at 90 feet in height, and with five floors, it was founded by Bishop Lughach, one of the first Christian Evangalists in Kerry.

The tower and its unusual windows were used by monks as part of a safety procedure to protect them and the locals in the nearby village, from invaders.

A spokeswoman for the OPW says that given the antiquity of the building, a considerable amount of effort is required to conserve and maintain the tower.

The work being carried out at the moment, includes re-pointing stone, using lime mortar, compatible with the original, and repairing damaged stone.

It’s estimated that the work being done at present costs in the region of eight thousand Euro.

The OPW spokewoman said it’s not yet known how long more the renovation works will take, and the tower will remain closed to the public in the meantime.

PIC: Anne Burgess [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons