The round towers of Ireland have long fascinated me. Dozens of these iconic structures dit the landscape (here are details of 52 of them http://www.roundtowers.org/ ) and I've been to a fair few of them. Mostly they are barred and bolted and no access is allowed. Given that they mainly seem to have been built about 1000 years ago (9th to 12th C) it's amazing that so many are still standing.
I'd often thought of how cool it would be to have a tall tower as a study and hidey hole. This week I had a chance to climb one of the few accessable ones (only one?). Wow! And worth sharing. This is the tower at Kildare where St Brigit did her thing.
The view from the top is amazing. This pikkie includes the restored Fire Temple attributed to St Brigit (Brid, Brigid etc.).
There is much speculation as to the purpose of these towers; watch-towers, places of refuge, storage, beacons for travellers etc. Likewise the is speculation on the design origin. I'd say that they were not much good as defensive structures. A substantial fire built around their base would soon smoke out any refugees.
Nonetheless, they stand as a tribute to their builders. And I still want one myself!!!