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|Archaeology of the Burren: Prehistoric Forts and Dolmens in North Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp|
VI: Knockauns Mountain:
Caherdooneerish (O.S. 1)
Aghaglinny (O.S. 2)
Leaving these unanswerable speculations, we turn to facts. The fort rests on the bald summit of the hill, 1,045 feet above sea. It overlooks nearly all Galway Bay, with its shores and the Aran Isles, the nearer of which look strangely near from our lofty standpoint. The ‘fort’ is a long oval platform of earth 6 to 10 feet high and exactly twice as long as wide, being 246 feet east and west, and 123 feet north and south. It is revetted with a facing of dry stone for the most part thrown down by the pressure of the earth.
The carn of Doughbranneen is seen lower down, but Caherdooneerish is hidden below the cliff. Descending into the wide valley towards Feenagh we reach in a lonely, utterly secluded spot, a fine ring wall, lying south-east from the summit. It is 240 feet inside and 260 feet over all, an unusual size in this district. The wall is of large blocks, well fitted, and usually from 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet long and high: it is from 6 to 7 feet high and 10 feet thick, rarely less than 5 feet; the batter varies from 1 in 4½ to 1 in 7. The gateway faces the south (by compass), its passage is 7 feet wide, but the ope is defaced. There are traces of enclosures in the garth, but I could get no general view, as on my visit in 1906, the whole was filled with most luxuriant meadow-sweet in full flower, and often 4 feet high. The fine crescent fort of Lismacsheedy, already described in this series of articles, lies at the end of this valley.
Ballyallaban Rath (O.S. 5). - This fort, as being an earthwork, was only slightly noted by me in 1901. It is one of the finest in the county, next to Bealboruma and Liscroneen; it stands beside the road in the bottom of Glenarraga, just below the great Cathair, in a pleasant spot, well planted and well watered, girt on all sides, save the north, by the impressive terraced hills of grey and dove-coloured limestone. The outer ring was a drystone wall. The fort, with its stone-faced inner mound, once closely resembled one of the two ringed ‘cahers’ of the district; but when an enemy scaled the outer wall he was confronted by a deep fosse and swept by showers of stones from the high inner rampart. The outer defence was removed, probably when the road was made, and only the foundations, and here and there large blocks remain; it was 12 to, perhaps, 18 feet thick. Inside this is the fosse, fed by several springs, and 6 to 10 feet deep: it is 9 to 14 feet wide in the bottom. The inner ring is nearly perpendicular, so I presume that the revetment was removed in fairly recent days. It rises 8 to 9 feet over the garth, and 13 to 15 feet over the fosse, being 23 to 27 feet thick below and 6 feet on top, well preserved, and 430 feet in circumference. The garth is oval, 90 feet across north and south, by 111 feet east and west. It is planted with beech and sycamore, the ring being closely overgrown with hawthorn and hazel. The gateway, with a gangway, faces east; apparently the revetment continued so as to form built gate piers, and, I presume, a lintelled entrance at the gap, probably reached by a trunk or plank across the ditch, like Doon fort. There is no local name save ‘the Rath.’