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Tower

towers, architecture, walls and ireland

TOWER, in architecture, a structure more or less lofty, of varied form or plan, whether standing alone or forming a part of a church, castle or other building, but essentially high as regards its surroundings. In ancient times towers were erected as memorials to the dead, for purposes of defense and as religious monu ments. Mediaeval castles usually had one or more towers, serving for observation and also adding to the sightliness of the structure. The walls of ancient fortifications usually bore towers at intervals for commanding the vicin ity, from which defenders might more easily shoot arrows at besiegers. When a tower is very long and slender it is termed a spire, as on many churches. Numerous little towers on a structure are named turrets. In old stone structures, as the Tower of London, the towers were apt to be circular. As Gothic architecture developed, square and rectangular towers were more common. In Oriental architecture there is a tendency to finish a tower with a dome. In modern structures towers are mainly for ornament and are located at one or all the four corners of a building, or centrally. Among towers are included the mosques of the Moham medans,. the lofty bell towers common in Rus sia, ancient lighthouses along the seacoasts and the round towers (q.v.) of India, Ireland and other countries. The tower bastion of mediae

val castles contained rooms and cells. (See BASTION). Water towers are similar to stand pipes (q.v.). See GABLE for a description of towers; also CAMPANILE; EIFFEL TOWER; ISA; MONUMENTS; PAGODA; Tom TOWER, Round, a building peculiar to early Christian architecture, of .slender form and usually bearing a conical roof. Windows are few in number and generally small. The type is common to Ireland, and in addition to the Irish bee-hive huts forms its only distinc tive contribution to architecture (see IRELAND, Architecture). More than 100 exist in Ire land. A few examples are to be found in Great Britain and on the Continent, point ing to the time of the invasion of the Irish missionaries. The smallness of the windows seems to make it improbable that the towers were used for bells and rather points to their employment for defensive purposes. The name is given to remains of structures of American Indians of the Pueblo type. They are found standing in isolation or in connection with walls of rectangular form. They are built of roughly-dressed stone and some are interesting structurally for their two or three concentric walls, with the two outer ones connected by transverse walls on radial lines. See IRISH