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Kilmacduagh Monastic site

Situated about  nine kilometres  NW of Gort, this ancient site contains the highest round tower in Ireland. It is Ireland’s counterpart to Pisa, leaning about two feet from the perpendicular.  The round tower is about one thousand years old. There are also the ruins of seven churches, the main ones being the Cathedral, Seancloch or the Bishop’s residence, St. Mary’s, St. John the Baptist’s and a few field away the beautiful O’Heynes Church.

Kilmacduagh deserves to be better known. Visitors often “stumble” upon the site as they travel from the Burren.

There is a large cemetery attached to the site.

Read more about it in Gort Inse Guaire, A Journey Through Time.

Kilmacduagh appears on several websites. One worth looking at is

Thoor Ballylee

The late Seamus Heaney described this castle as the most important public building in Ireland.  It is situated about ten kilometres NE of the town of Gort. This tower house was built by the Norman De Burgo (Burke) family in the fifteenth century.  It was bought by the poet W.B.Yeats in 1917 and it was his summer home from 1919 to 1928. It became his tower, his inspiration, his retreat and his symbol.  There are four floors of one room each. Some of his finest poetry was written while he lived in Thoor Ballylee.  The book Galway Poems of W.B. Yeats  is available from the Kiltartan Gregory Cultural Society , Gort for €10.60. Yeats  wrote to a friend: “to leave this place is to leave beauty behind”.

Due to damage caused by severe flooding the castle has been closed since 2009. However, the newly formed Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society  have set out to do restoration works and  Thoor  Ballylee will be open for Yeats’s birthday on 13th June 2015. Details available on



Address Gort, County Galway
Parish(es) Gort Kilmacduagh And Kiltartan (Galway)
Category (ies) Heritage/Culture Tourist Attraction