Kinneigh Round Tower, monastic settlement and graveyard.
Kinneigh Round tower and monastery dates from the 11th century. Kinneigh was, in ancient times, the centre of the small Diocese of Kinneigh and site of a monastery. The round tower was part of the monastery of St.Barthlomew which was created around 617 a.d. by St.Colman, later destroyed by Norse raiders and moved to this new site in 916 a.d. .The tower was built around the beginning of the 11th century and is the only surviving part of the monastery. The Kinneigh comes from Cian O’Mahony, a prominent chief at the time and protector of the monastery.
There are around 64 round towers in Ireland, but only two in County Cork, the other being in Cloyne. The Kinneigh example is unique for its hexagonal base. It is built of dressed slate, the craftsmanship being exemplary.
Kinneigh was a prominent ecclesiastical center. These church lands bordered O’Crowley territory so Kinneigh naturally became the ecclesiastical center of the clan. The graveyard bears numerous Crowley graves some dating the late 1700s. It is near Kinneigh, at Kinneighbeg that the last chiefs of the clan elected residence after O’Crowley castle at Ahakeera was destroyed during the Elizabethan war.
By Michael-Patrick Crowley