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|Archaeology of the Burren: Prehistoric Forts and Dolmens in North Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp|
V: Corofin District: Kilfenora Parish:
Clooneen (O.S. 9)
Ardnagowell (O.S. 16)
The western runs for an even distance about 92 feet down each slope of the ridge and is dug into for 60 feet, leaving the outer edge only about 3 feet thick and a foot high. An old roadway runs to the south at 70 feet from the western mound, and a large boulder, 15 feet across, lies between it and the western mound. The ends die away into the slope, and nothing suggests that the works were joined by cross-mounds or loops. There is no tradition as to its nature. It is too wide for a road, too short for a mearing, too open for a fort, and being over a summit is of course unsuited for a reservoir, even if dew-ponds or artificial tanks were found in western Ireland. As we have seen, the ridge is slightly lowered between the mounds. I commend the problem of this strange work to other antiquaries.
Knockacarn (O.S. 16)
Tullagha (O.S. 16)
Of dolmens, only those of Carncreagh and Callan and the problematical Ogham slab near the last needed and received notice. Two of the earthen forts lie near the road opposite the cross-road leading past Ballykinvarga, Noughaval, and Cahermacnaughten to Ballyvaughan; they are in Tullagh (locally Tullagha) townland, probably the ancient Tulach Chuirc. The one nearest the road is 220 feet over all, and is a mass of beautiful green sward, rising 13 feet over the fosse, which is 6 feet deep and 15 feet wide, with no outer ring. It is nearly filled up on the east and south, and is still wet in parts and filled with yellow iris. The rampart is 31 feet thick at the field-level to the south, and rises 6 feet over the garth; it is 41 feet thick at the base and 12 feet on top to the north. There are three gaps, two very shapeless and narrow, the third faces the east and was probably the ancient entrance. The garth is 117 feet across and nearly a true circle; it has been tilled, and is now much overgrown with docks. The rampart was once evidently faced by revetments of large regular sandstone blocks, but few traces remain, save along the inner foot of the mound.
The earthen fort on the low rising ground of Knockalish lies about 400 yards away to the south-west. It is 150 feet across, but of little interest.
I have already described the more noteworthy forts of Kilfenora parish, Doon, Ballykinvarga, Ballyshanny, and Caherminaun. Doon was very probably the Tech nEnnach, the dún made by Ennach, son of Umor, on the river Dael, which rises from the ridge on which this great rock-cut fort sits imposingly, dominating the view from Roughan and the Tullycommaun ridges to far out to sea. Caherballagh is a featureless ring planted with hawthorns near Lough Ballagh. Cahersherkin is only a small defaced ring-fort. The Down Survey, circa 1655, shows near it a large rectangular fort which is not given on the old or new Ordnance Maps, and I could not learn that any trace exists. Just within Kilnaboy parish lies Lissyogan, an oblong earthwork, 100 feet by 150 feet on Knockaunadrankady (Little Hill of the Fleas) in Moherbullog, while Cahergal in Maghera is a barely visible ring of filling on a pleasant hillock on the flank of Inchiquin Hill, overlooking the green valley towards Applevale. In the closing section of this paper I hope, so far as I am able, to conclude my survey of the ring-forts of north-west Co. Clare by notes on those undescribed round Lisdoonvarna, and the results of farther examination of the district thence to Ballyganner ridge and the Kilfeneora road, so as to meet the present survey.