General Question

aiwendil's avatar

What are those old Irish guard towers called?

Asked by aiwendil (561points) July 15th, 2009

I went to Ireland a few years ago on a school trip and we passed a lot of ruins that looked like little mini castles. Our guide called them _____ houses. It sounded like “tara” houses, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it. Does anyone know what they’re called? Here’s a link to a picture of one—>

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6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

James Joyce called them Martello Towers. However the castle in your photo is much larger and more elaborate, so I could easily be wrong.

His first chapter takes place in one of them on the cove in Dublin.

“Episode 1, Telemachus

It is 8 a.m. on the morning of 16 June 1904.Buck Mulligan a,verbally aggressive and boisterous medical student, calls Stephen Dedalus (a young writer first encountered in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) up to the roof of the Martello tower, in Sandycove, overlooking Dublin bay.”:

aiwendil's avatar

@gailcalled Thanks for the answer. It sort of sounds similar, but according to the wiki page they were built at the time of the Napoleonic Wars and onwards. I’m pretty sure what I’m thinking of something older. Also, none of them were round like the Martello Towers. I’m pretty sure this is the right picture, but it does seem slightly bigger and than I remembered.

gailcalled's avatar

Your building looks as though it housed a number of people. Martello towers were for defense only. Sorry, I have no more ideas.

gailcalled's avatar

@Harp: Lovely. Thank you.

aiwendil's avatar

@Harp you are a genius. It’s so obvious now. I guess his Irish accent threw me off. ‘Tower’ not ‘tara.’

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