Near Ballyduff at Rattoo, a round tower reaches a height of 28m, with a base circumference of 15m. This is the only complete round tower in Kerry, and possibly dates from the late 10th or early 11th centuries. In the mid 19th century, the tower sat on a raised earth causeway in what was then a swamp. The swamp was drained and the causeway removed in the late 1800s so the fields could be cultivated. On 1 November 1920, the Black and Tans shot local man, John Houlihan, dead and burned the creamery to the ground. Canon William Ferris, the author of "The Gaelic Commonwealth" and many other works, lived here.
The drum of the tower has one window right above the doorway, which is actually on the fourth story. The angled head of the window is carved from stone. The top also has four angle-headed windows that are like bell storey. The Christian Round Tower is located behind a tall wall that surrounds the graveyard and church ruins. The window angles are similar to the actual shape of the tower. There is a total of 5 windows. The entire area including the graveyard, church ruins and tower all look characteristic of the 1600s, specifically the inscription of "1667", which is on the arched doorway of the tower.
One of the best examples of Sheela-na-Gig may be found in the Round Tower at Rattoo. A replica is located in the County Museum in Tralee town. Sheela-na-Gigs are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are found on churches, castles and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Britain, sometimes together with male figures.
More about Round Towers you will find HERE.
More about Monastic Sites in Ireland you will find HERE.
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