Towns of Kildare
Castledermot —County Kildare
Situated in fertile farmland Castledermot can trace its origins to the hermitage of the early 19th century St. Diarmada on the banks of the Graney River. Its site is now marked by a truncated 10th Century round tower, a Romanesque doorway, and high crosses at St. James Church, all of which are National monuments.
The 10th century crosses are of granite, and are decorated with images from the Old & New Testaments. The holed cross is believed to be an early Christian combination of a pagan fertility stone with a cross. A hog-backed Viking grave stone, decorated with crosses & lozenges, is the only one of its type in the country.
The town of Castledermot was walled in the 13th century, and parts of the walls remain. In the Franciscan friary from the same period is the curious cadavar tombstone of the suitably named Joan Skelton & James Tallon. It dates from the 16th century and reflects the morbid preoccupation with death of that time.
On the Northern edge of the town is the Pigeon's Tower, all that remains of the 13th Century hospital of the Crutched Friars.