Milford Round Tower Is the Only Known One Outside of Ireland
St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Parish of Milford, Massachusetts, may have something that no one outside of Ireland has – a round tower based on an actual tower on Devenish Island in Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Ireland.
St. Mary's is a part of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester.
At 73.5 feet, the Round Tower, located in the St. Mary's Parish Cemetery, was dedicated on July 10, 1896. The parish website says carpenters used Milford pink granite to construct the tower.
The Parish says its Round Tower "is probably the only one of its kind in the United States, and maybe even outside of Ireland in the whole world."
The parish website says the tower "stands as a unique monument to the pastor who crafted its vision." Father Patrick Cuddihy, a native of Cashel, Ireland, insisted the Round Tower be a part of the parish cemetery as a reminder of his homeland and in tribute to the Irish in America.
According to his obituary in the Clonmel Chronicle of Ireland, Fr. Cuddihy explained his reason for the tower this way: "When chided by a friend on the subject of the tower, Cuddihy replied, 'It may be folly – yet when you and I have passed away, the Irish in America will make a pilgrimage to the Irish Round Tower at Milford."
The Irish Round Tower in Milford attracts Irish American visitors every year. I have yet to make the pilgrimage, but I assure you it is on my short list of things to do.
Located near Worcester, Milford is an hour's car ride from New Bedford.
Irish Round Tower at St Mary's Cemetery in Milford, MA by Parkerjh/ CC BY-SA 4.0 (No Changes Made)
Irish Round Tower, St. Mary's Cemetery via Milford Town Library, Paul E. Curran Historical Collection / CC BY-NC-ND