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Archaeology of the Burren: Prehistoric Forts and Dolmens in North Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp

Part I: Noughaval: Footnotes

1. Ten fine forts stand near St. Abb’s Head, Scotland, where only three farmhouses are now inhabited. – ‘Proc. Soc. Ant., Scot.’, 1895, p. 171. ‘The battle of Magh Leana,’ p. 79, also mentions a group of ‘three strong duns . . . three lofty murs of assembly, and three strong cathairs.’

2. ‘Calendar of Oengus,’ p. 18.

3. ‘Nua-congabhaile’, the latter word one of our oldest terms for a monastery, ‘Tripartite Life’, p. clv. A ‘Mughain, virgin, of Cluain Boirenn,’ is given under Dec. 15th, in ‘Calendar of Oengus.’ A description of Noughaval Church appears in the ‘Report of the Society for the Preservation of Memorials of the Dead (Ireland)’, 1896.

4. A similar feature occurs at Morbihan, Brittany, ‘Revue Archéologique’, 1895, p. 64, and at Cahergrillaun, in the parish of Carran, county Clare.

5. Canon Philip Dwyer describes this caher of ‘Knickknocktheen’ (Knockcottine), in 1876, as having an entrance with a ‘flat single stone lintel’ in excellent preservation. – ‘Handbook to Lisdoonvarna’, p. 57.

6. Small cairns abound near the stone fort of Cair Conan, Cornwall (Royal Inst. of Cornwall, 1862, p. 56), also at Chûn Castle in same shire.

7. Compare plans, ‘Journal’, 1896, p. 147, fig. 19 to 23.

8. Cormac’s Glossary gives Ramhat ‘an open space or street which is in front of the fort of Kings’; every neighbour was bound to clean it.

9. ‘A fort, in this again a colossal sepulchre.’ – ‘Silva Gadelica’, ii, p. 131. Hely Dutton, in 1808, when describing Ballyganner, mentions ‘the remains of a stone rath in which part of a covered passage is still visible.’ – ‘Statistical Survey of Clare’, p. 137.

10. The forts in the background are – 1. The oblong garth; 2. Cahernaspekee; 3. Cahercuttine; and 4. (extreme right), Caher, with side enclosure.

11. O’Curry, ‘Manners and Customs’, iii., p. 322. O’Donovan sensibly asks (in the Ordnance Survey Letters, R.I.A., p. 187) ‘who built Caher mac Naughten? Did the Firbolgs erect all the Cahers in the Burren? Never.’ (See Ordnance Survey Letters, vol. i., for ensuing deed. - MSS., R.I.A.).


Part I