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

Part IV: The Eastern Border: Ballycasheen and Cappaghkennedy; Rannagh East

Ballycasheen – Plan of Dolmens
Ballycasheen – Plan of Dolmens

Ballycasheen and Cappaghkennedy
In re-examining these two dolmens I may note that the plans given by Borlase [43] are each defective. The first monument shows clear signs of being the remains of two structures. One was a small cist, to the south of the large dolmen, and 5 feet distant. There are other set slabs to the west, perhaps part of an outer ring or kerbing - a feature not unusual in Clare. The four sides of the chamber of the Cappaghkennedy dolmen are complete as here shown. We give a view of this fine monument; it was recently inhabited.

Cappaghkennedy – Plan of Dolmen
Cappaghkennedy – Plan of Dolmen

Rannagh East (O.S. 6)
I formerly noted a perfect dolmen lying (as I thought) in this townland,[44] but the new map shows that it lay a few feet over the bounds in the townland of Termon. With only the old map to guide me, and entangled in a maze of unmarked little fields and walls, I missed the actual dolmen of Rannagh, shown on the maps of 1839. It is embedded in loose stone walls, so as to form a sheep-pen, and lies not far from, in full sight of, and north-east from, the Termon cist.

Rannagh East – Plan of Dolmens: 1. The Northern Dolmen,	2. The Southern Dolmen, 3. Termon Dolmen, on bounds of Rannagh
Rannagh East – Plan of Dolmens
1. The Northern Dolmen, 2. The Southern Dolmen, 3. Termon Dolmen, on bounds of Rannagh

The sides and west end are standing, but cracked as if by fire. The top edges are dressed to a regular slope. The south side is entire, 15 feet 7 inches long by 8 inches thick; and sloping from 4 feet 4 inches to 3 feet 10 inches high; it lies E.N.E. and W.S.W.; and the ground on which it stands has been so denuded that the lower edge is bare. The fragment of the north side is 7 feet 9 inches long; measuring at each end, the chamber is from 8 feet 5 inches to 7 feet 6 inches wide. The west slab does not close up the end, but leaves a doorway, as is not unusual. There is no trace of a mound or cairn; the dolmen, as we see, was of unusual size, but not even a fragment of the cover is recognisable.