|Clare County Library||
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | OS Maps | Search this Website | Copyright Notice
|Archaeology of the Burren: Prehistoric Forts and Dolmens in North Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp|
Part V: Moheraroon; Caher-Moheraroon; Fanygalvan
Going south from Poulacarran, round the ridge of Fanygalvan, with its conspicuous dolmen, we find, close by the road to Castletown, a group of stone forts. The western, beside the road and in Sheshymore, is a mere ring of filling, thanks to road-menders.
The second caher lies not far to the north-east, in Moheraroon, and is a conspicuous little ring-wall on a crag covered with low hazels. The wall is very coarse and badly built, of shapeless large masonry, to the north-east. It has a terrace 18 inches wide and 1 foot 8 inches high, the wall 1 foot 8 inches higher, or 4 feet 4 inches over the garth, which is 3 feet higher than the outer crag. The wall is 7 feet 8 inches high and 6 feet 6 inches thick at that point, and 4 feet 8 inches wide on top. The fort is 94 feet over all, and 81 feet across the garth. The gateway is defaced, but its lintel measures 4 feet 8 inches by 1 foot 6 inches by 8 inches; so it must have been narrow.
The passage is 4 feet wide, increasing inward to 6 feet at a point 4 feet 6 inches from the outside, again very unusual. Here two slabs are set in the wall, their edges projecting into the passage, doubtless at a wooden door, the north being 10 inches higher than the south slab. Inside these, the passage is 4 feet 3 inches long (making it 9 feet long in all). The lintels measure respectively, from the outside inwards, 5 feet 4 inches by 13 inches by 3 inches, 6 feet 2 inches by 20 inches by 11 inches, and 4 feet 9 inches by 14 inches by 17 inches. The first lies outside the gateway; the others rest on the pier. Another lintel lies in the garth, and is 6 feet 10 inches by 25 inches by 6 inches, and near it one 4 feet 8 inches by 19 inches by 5 inches, either belonging to the inner passage or a relieving slab. The upper course of the gate (as at Cashlaun Gar and the souterrains of Mortyclough caher and the south-west cahers of Ballyganner) projects like a cornice, the better to support the lintels. The sum of the breadths of the lintels, 8 feet 9 inches, so closely corresponds with the length of the passage and the three outer (4 feet) to the outer section, that it very probably was roofed for its whole length (like Cahermoygilliar, county Cork). In this, as in its height, its splay, and its cornice, it is most exceptional, and it is a loss to archaeology that it was not examined before its destruction. The unfortunate haste and lack of interest in prehistoric remains when the 1839 Ordnance Survey hurried O’Donovan and O’Curry through this rich but difficult district, and the difficulty of the country and the shortness of the time at my disposal from 1892 down, left it undescribed till, like an older fortress, ‘the gate is smitten with destruction, the fort and towers dens for ever.’ A hut circle lies 145 feet east from the gate, but not in line with it. The structure was probably of wood, fenced (as at Ballyganner Hill near Cahernabihoonach) with a ring of slabs, 3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches high and long, round its base. Most of the slab rings known to me in Clare are close to forts, but strange to say, outside their ambit.