Historic Environment

Armoy Round Tower

Glenshesk Road
BT53 8RJ


028 9082 3207

Additional information

Open to the public:

Yes, entry is free (Sometimes public access is restricted due to works for example. Check before you visit)

Grid reference:
SM number:
ANT 013:010

About Armoy Round Tower

The tower is in the graveyard of Armoy Church of Ireland parish church. There is a lay-by at the church. The road curves round the graveyard, and a souterrain was found during road-widening here in the 1990s, both confirming Early Christian period activity at the site. More recent investigations (2004–2005) in advance of an extension to the graveyard also uncovered further evidence of Early Christian and medieval activity at the site, including the discovery of another souterrain. The early church was associated with Bishop Olcan, placed here according to late tradition by St Patrick. Later it was the site of the medieval parish church. The tower is incomplete, surviving to a height of 10.8m. It was once taller, but nothing like the height of Antrim tower.

The stone is mainly sandstone, roughly dressed and coursed, with long, narrow slabs below and more rounded boulders above. The topmost courses were rebuilt in the 19th century when the tower was reused as a belfry. There are no surviving windows. The door is unusually tall and narrow, with a semicircular head and outlining raised band. The door sill is now only about 1.6m above ground level, but this has risen considerably because of burials and the door was originally much further from the ground. During recent conservation work new jamb stones were built into the door to replace rough brick and rubble patching. The tower must date from the 11th or 12th century. The parish church was built largely in 1820 and 1846, but it occupied the site of an earlier church, partly uncovered in a small excavation in 1997.

Other historic places you can visit:

Armoy Round Tower
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