Earl of Tyrone, George de la Poer Beresford, in memory of his eldest son Marcus. The tower predates the 19th century revival of interest in Christian round towers, other examples include the tower at Portrane built in 1844 and the Daniel O’Connell memorial tower in Glasnevin completed in 1855. A plaque above its door states that the monument is dedicateds ‘To his beloved Son, his niece and his friend‘, this refers firstly to his son Marcus who aged 12 died in a horse riding accident at Curraghmore.
Its uncertain who the ‘niece’ refers to but its believed it may have been a Catherine Annesley who died in 1770, the friend refers to the tutor of Marcus, Charles Poliere de Botens, who died at Curraghmore shortly after the boys death. There is a school of thought that originally Beresford was building the tower as a folly which was meant to be 120ft high but was unfinished at 70ft.
A ruined church was planned for near the base of the tower but was never built, Samuel Lewis writing in 1830s stated that Beresford ‘intended to raise [the monument] to the height of 120 feet but it was left unfinished at an elevation of 70 feet’; he also reclaimed ‘the great west window of the old cathedral of Waterford which it was intended to incorporated in an artificial ecclesiastical ruin to form a characteristic group with the round tower‘.
The De Le Poer tower is situated in Portlaw wood and is a fantastic place to visit though its quite unnerving as the stairs reach right to the top of the tower, you can actually walk on its rim!, However the 360 degree views awe inspiring and on a good day you can see five counties from its top, those being Wexford, Carlow, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford.