Ireland day 0990. Friday 14 June 2024- Spire Of Lloyd

Ireland day 0990. Friday 14 June 2024- Spire Of Lloyd
Today’s summary Drove up to Kells to visit and climb the Spire of Lloyd, an 18th century “inland lighthouse”. A beautiful day out and fabulous views from the top. Came back via Decathlon and a shoe shop in Swords.
Today’s weather Bright fresh and sunny with occasional torrential showers. Moderate to strong south westerly wind. Appx 14c
Today’s overview location
(The grey mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Spire of Lloyd

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Over the last few weeks my social media feed has been filled with targeted ads for an architectural curiosity near the town of Kells in County Meath, called the Spire of Lloyd. So we thought that today we ought to pay a visit – especially as it’s only open for an ascent on Friday mornings and only in the summer.

So as soon as we had had breakfast we boarded the Trusty Yaris and headed up the M3 to Kells. It was a lovely bright breezy day, albeit with with occasional downpours, and lots of blue sky with fluffy white cumulus. Much better than yesterday and even the drive up there was a joy.

The Spire was built in 1791 by Thomas Tayleur, Earl of Bective. It’s known as “Ireland’s only inland lighthouse” but as far as I can tell really it’s only a folly. It may actually have been a make-work project during one of the many tragic famines that struck Ireland around that time, much like the Wonderful Barn or the Killiney Obelisk. Though in fact a beacon was lit in the top from time to time – mainly to signal that the Earl had finished hunting and his domestic staff needed to get the fires on in his stately home.

The tower had passed into public ownership some years ago, first to the OPW and then to Meath county council. Meath has spent a lot of time (and money) refurbishing it and making it safe. It only finally reopened to the public in March this year. Meath and Boyne Valley Tourism should be congratulated on turning this into a first-rate visitor sight.

We joined the 11:30 tour and clambered, as part of a small group and accompanied by two guides, up the 164 steps to the viewing gallery at the top. The gallery is fully glazed, which protects you from the elements and helps vertigo sufferers like me feel a bit less exposed.

The views today were superb – it was especially interesting to watch the incoming squally showers heading our way, and slowly obscuring the distant views of the Loughcrew hills.

We spent about half an hour admiring the views at the top, then headed back down again. The tower is set in a large area of meadowland, and there’s a trail round the edge which we decided to walk after our tour. It was delightful.

Once we’d finished sightseeing, we found a bench in the sun and had our packed lunches before setting off back to Malahide. On the way back we stopped off at Decathlon in Ballymun and also at a shoe shop in Swords. So we weren’t back at the flat until nearly 5pm after what felt like a very rewarding and successful day out.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Mullioned windows illuminating the spiral staircase on the way up Glazed viewing gallery at the top – watching the squalls rolling in
Distant view over to the Loughcrew Cairns Looking down on the paupers’ graveyard.   About a thousand famine victims are said to be buried here
In the meadow, with Val admiring the tower from afar Looking over to Loughcrew again through the buttercups
The Spire in all its glory.   It’s about 30m / 100ft tall
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 1483 m
Max elevation: 124 m
Min elevation: 115 m
Total climbing: 23 m
Total descent: -26 m
Total time: 01:30:52
Download file: Spire-of-Lloyd-compressed-corrected.gpx

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