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Timahoe (Irish: Tigh Mochua: ‘House of Mochua’) is a village in County Laois, Ireland, 12 km south of Portlaoise on the R426 regional road.
The village of Timahoe is situated in a broad and fertile valley. The houses are built around a large central green, known as the Goosegreen. Community facilities including the church, community hall and recycling area are all located south of the village centre.
Saint Mochua established a monastery here in the 7th century. There are some early historical references to the site – a church was burned here in 919, while there was a murder in the doorway of another church in 1019. It was burned in 1142, and refounded by the O’Mores. There was a monastic community here as late as 1650.
The present fragmentary church has an inserted 15th century chancel arch – now blocked up – leading to the site of the altar.
The Round Tower was built in the mid 12th century and is one of the finest in Ireland. Standing 30m high, it is located near the centre of the village. The cap was rebuilt in the 19th century, but the tower is otherwise in its original condition. Its doorway, which is high off the ground and faced the doorway of the church, is elaborately decorated in the Romanesque style. It has four orders (rows of decoration receding into the doorway) two inside and two outside (see photo), separated by a narrow vaulted lobby. The capitals – the heads of the pillars of the doorway – are carved with human heads with intertwining hair.
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