II: Carran and Kilcorney
South ridge of Carran; Fanygalvan;
Cahermackirilla Ridge; The Plateau of Commons; Rannagh
South ridge of Carran  (O.S.
9., No. 12).
The country being greatly broken, the groups of ruins must be treated
as they lie, rather than by townlands. Passing along the grassy though
craggy ridges, famous ‘winterages’ for cattle, along the
edge of Poulacarran valley, we find the following remains:- (1) A coarsely
built, much dilapidated, irregular caher, close to the Carran road.
It commands a grassy pass leading to the valley, and the well of Tobermacreagh;
(2) A curious little cliff fort on a peak. It is just 40 feet across,
all the eastern side gone, the wall clings to the west crags, one break
being bridged with long slabs, and looking like a gateway as seen from
the road; (3) A coarse thin ring-wall in a wilderness of low hazels,
it is about 60 feet in diameter; (4) Another caher or ring-wall even
more dilapidated than the last. These two are in Cahermackirilla townland,
on the southern edge of which stand three gallauns; these lie in line
N.N.E. (compass), the central one is over 7 feet high, the others about
Fanygalvan - Plan of Cromlech
Eastward is a large though low green mound, and less than 80 feet away;
three cromlechs lie in the townland of Fanygalvan - the Fanadhgealbain of the 1380 rental. As shown in the 1839 map, there are three cists
lying in line on the grassy hill which falls abruptly at their west end.
Now there remain of the western only two small blocks 6 feet long. The
central cist faces E.N.E., the fallen sides covered by the top stone,
and about 10 ft. long. The eastern is a noble cromlech with two chambers.
It is 23 ft. long, and from 6 ft. 3 in. to 2 ft. 8 in. wide; the north
side has fallen. It is a conspicuous object, and its bleached stones
shine like a red light at sunset, when seen from the road.
Down the slope stands a fantastic rock, somewhat
resembling a human figure, and called Farbrega; while, half a mile from
road between Castletown and Carran, lie three very defaced stone forts.
They are, respectively, in Sheshy, Moheraroon, and Fanygalvan, close
together along the edge of a low depression, in which on an abrupt
knoll are apparent the foundations and scattered stones of a fourth
Cahermackirilla Ridge (O.S. 10., No. 5).
Starting from the cromlech of Fanygalvan, along the ridge, we find ourselves
among many evidences of a once teeming population. Along this bluff,
some 550 feet above the sea, lie three more cahers, which we may generally
state to be from 70 to 100 feet in diameter and of fairly good masonry,
though nearly demolished. Between the second and third, which are only
about 350 ft. apart, are some singular slab huts of late date and a
souterrain, with built sides and four roof-slabs. The highest caher
is of thin slabs, and contains the ruins of several late cabins and
some lofty ‘look-out’ piers for herdsmen. It commands a
view of the district from Tullycommane to Kilfenora and Moher, with
a pretty glimpse of the sea and a bird’s-eye view over Poulacarran.
The last of these cahers, on the edge of Commons townland, is a circular
ring, about 50 feet across. It has a large and curious straight walled
enclosure about 150 feet out from the caher; the walls 8 and 10 feet
high to the N.E. and S.E., in the intervening space is a small closed
The Plateau of Commoms &c. (O.S. 9., No.
The commonage is devoid of antiquities, save for a small circular fort
on a cliff above the O’Loughlin’s house, near Mougouhy,
with a fine view of Cahercommane and Castletown Lough, but nearly levelled.
In Sladoo, A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna states that two uninjured cahers stand
near the curious late church. These, however, are not marked on the 1839 map;
neither could Dr. George MacNamara and I find any trace or tradition of their
existence. The only early remain seems to be a low mound of earth and stones,
36 feet across, its centre deeply excavated.
Rannagh (O.S. 9., No. 1).
West of Sladoo and on the edge of a cliff, nearly as straight and regularly
coursed as an ashlar wall, stands a rectangular caher; its northern
wall is 7 feet high, 11 feet wide; the gateway faces the south, and
is 4 feet 4 inches wide; it had stone gate posts on the inner face
of a passage, 5 feet long and 5 feet 4 inches wide; the outer piers
were built of large blocks, and 6 feet deep; the outer lintel was 7
feet 3 inches long. A steep old road leads from near it down to Poulacarran.