II: Carran and Kilcorney
Poulcaragharush (O.S. 9., No. 8)
This townland projects in a bold spur into the valley to the north of
Carran Church, and east of the large and conspicuous cairn on Poulawack.
Crossing a grass-grown old road, we find the following ancient enclosures:-
(1) A finely-built but dilapidated ring wall, not far from the church.
(2) A large irregular garth with straight reaches of wall, poorly built
and levelled within a foot or two of the ground. (3 and 4) Two small
forts which, by a strange effect of their position, look like a huge
and lofty caher when seen against the sky. They lie north-east of the
curious cup-like hollow of Poulcaragharush. The more northern is in
parts nearly levelled, the eastern is on a knoll, and is in fair preservation.
It is about 70 feet from the other fort, and nearly the same size,
being 69 ft. over all. The gateway faces east and is in good preservation
on the outer face, being filled up with stones. The jambs do not incline,
the southern has a short corner post, the doorway faces the east, and
is exactly 4 feet square; the lintel 6 feet 3 inches by 1 foot 9 inches
by 1 foot 1 inch; the wall is 7 feet high to the west, and is 8 feet
thick, built of rather good masonry, of most archaic-looking weather-beaten
and channelled blocks. (5) A strangely small fort, scarcely 30 feet
across, lies far down the slope, near the edge of Cahermackirilla;
only portions of the wall are standing.
Gateway, Poulcaragharush Caher
Poulacarran (O.S. 9., No. 8)
This is a sort of ‘bay,’ running southward out of the large
depression of Eanty. It falls abruptly almost, from the east gable of
the plain old Church of Carran, near which we may note a cairn (not cist
as in map), round which coffins are carried for burial in the graveyard.
The valley is very diversified: it has tracts of cultivated ground and
rich grass land, ‘water splashes,’ or shallow lakes, lesser
glens overgrown with hazel and hawthorn. In the spring it blossoms with
such masses of primroses, anemones, ferns, violets, and deep blue gentians
which make it a lovely garden. South of the swampy ‘bleach pool,’ named
Toorleerahan (phonetically), is a ridge occupied by the caher of Poulacarran,
a neat little oval fort 58 ft. north and south, and 70 ft. east and west.
Like nearly all the forts of this district, it contains no remains of
dwellings. Its gate faces N.E., and has jambs of single stones 4 feet
deep and high. The lintel, as usual, has been thrown down; it measures
5 feet 8 inches by 3 feet by 1 foot 6 inches; the jambs have been pressed
in from 3 feet below to 2 feet above; the wall is 4 feet thick, and 5
or 6 feet high, nor do many fallen stones lie round it. A second enclosure
surrounds it, irregular in plan and faced with large and fantastic slabs.
It is apparently of no great age, and contains a ‘souterrain’,
formed by roofing a natural cleft, 10 feet by 4 feet 8 inches with lintels
over 7 feet long. The south caher lies opposite the last, across the
actual ‘Poulacarran,’ a boggy hollow and pretty little glen,
overgrown with hawthorns. It is a little oval fort, of good masonry,
and measures about 90 feet by 63 feet wide. It stands on the edge of
a cliff and encloses green sward. A second enclosure, meeting the first
at the cliff, and of inferior masonry, only some 4 feet high, lies on
the crags. A ‘pass’ leads upward to the second fort on Cahermackerilla
The lower ‘faugher’ is irregularly continued along the east
side of the valley; it has a row of small and nearly levelled cahers
along its shelf.
Two in Poulacarran, one of two concentric rings round a rock dome in Meggagh
West, and one in Cahermackerrilla, while another, of only a few courses of
masonry, lies on the slope under Poulcaragharush.
Gateway, Poulacarran Caher