II: Kilcorney and the Eastern Valleys: Glensleade:
Poulgorm Cliff Fort; Cahernamweela; Caheranardurrish
Poulgorm Cliff Fort
On the opposite cliff overlooking, and about 300 feet to the S.W. of
Cahercashlaun, is a rude ring-wall 60 feet across; it has a side enclosure,
and has been much rebuilt, and used as a fold.
This fort, and the large enclosure near it, seem also to be called Cahernanebwee.
It is a ring of good masonry, 50 feet internally, 5 feet thick, and
at most 6 feet high. The nearly levelled gateway faced S.S.E., and
is 3 feet 4 inches wide; the sides are parallel, made of large blocks
running the whole depth of the wall. The mossy garth only contains
a hut-foundation near the gateway. The site is overlooked by a ridge
scarcely 50 feet away, and slopes abruptly to the east and south. There
is a side enclosure to the S.W. at a lower level, but joining the caher
About 300 feet to the N.W., on the summit of the ridge, is an old enclosure.
It is a most disappointing object, seeming to be high and large and imposing,
especially as seen from Caheranardurrish. It is actually a rough wall,
3 feet thick and 7 feet high, enclosing an irregular space 110 feet across.
There are no foundations in the garth, and it was probably a mediæval
Going westward by a difficult way across waterworn and loose crags
(full of fossil corals) and a level-floored depression, we ascend
ridge, and find two other cahers.
Caheranardurrish (O.S. 5, No. 15)
The eastern fort of the name (the other lies on the crest of the hill-road
behind Rathborney Church) stands on a knoll above the deep basin-like
hollow of Glensleade, some distance to the N.W. of the castle. Though
surrounded by crags, there is abundance of coarse rich grass both in
and around its wall. The name is taken from the gateway which faces
E.S.E., and is very perfect; it has sloping jambs, and is from 4 feet
10 inches to 4 feet 7 inches wide, and only 5 feet 3 inches high. As
there is very little fallen rubbish, it suggests either that ‘Fort
of the high door’ is an archaic sarcasm, or that high doors were
rare in ancient Burren. The gateway has three lintels; the middle has
slipped, and the outer measures 8 feet 2 inches by 1 foot 6 inches
by 9 inches; it has two long slabs above it to spread the weight of
the upper wall. The fort is oval, from 110 feet to 116 feet internally;
the wall 7 or 8 feet thick, and 5 feet to 8 feet high, of good long-stoned
In the centre of the garth used to be a heap of stones suggestive of
a fallen clochan. This is now cleared away, and only a small cist remains,
3 feet wide,
and at least 9 feet long, with a partition of slabs in the middle. This may
have been one of those strange little slab enclosures to be seen in the floors
of several Irish and Welsh forts and Scotch brochs. The filling of the wall
has been much dug up by seekers after imaginary treasures, or more practicable
rabbits. Unfortunately such gold dreamers abound; all agree that nothing but
a few coins of the ‘cross silver’ have ever been found (and that
very rarely); but these discouraging ‘modern instances’ never save
our venerable buildings from these foolish and destructive attempts to discover
fairy gold. Even in the last three years the right jamb of the gateway of this
caher has been tampered with, and the pier is in considerable jeopardy.
On the south slope of the knoll is a very small circular fort 47 feet
internally, with walls 5 feet thick, and barely 3 feet or 4 feet
high; the gateway faced
the south. A well-built bawn, lined on the inside with upturned slabs, runs
down the slope near this little ring-wall.