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A Survey of Monuments of Archaeological and Historical Interest in the Barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare by William Gerrard Ryan

Part 2: Chapter 7: Drumline Parish: Firgrove Townland

Site B: RINGFORT Classification type 3 (a)).
6” O.S. Sheet number : 51 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 14.0 cm South; 23.8 cm East
Height : 50’ O.D.
Shape : circular

Description of site:
It is only by a very careful examination of the relevant 6” O.S. sheet that one will notice the site of a second ringfort in Firgrove townland. Unlike the previous Site A this fort is shown on the map. Looking west from the front of Firgrove House you would have formerly seen the site of Ringfort A (destroyed), Ballycasey More townland. A close examination of the map between the House and Fort just mentioned will show the outline poorly represented, of what the map suggests to be a single banked ringfort.

Field examination found that this site was in a fairly poor condition. A number of factors have been responsible for this. 1. The surfaced driveway into Firgrove House cuts through the eastern part of the site’s interior. Obviously the laying down of such a surfaced drive has done considerable damage to the fort in that area, for a width of 3 ½ metres. 2. To keep livestock clear of this drive timber railings have been placed at both sides of it. Again the posts supporting part of this railing were dug into the site’s interior. 3. A 2 metre wide farm trackway cuts the site north-west by south-east. It also has damaged the interior as tractor tyre marks are clearly visible along this track. 4. Cattle, sheep and horses graze over the site. These also must have done some damage.
5. Finally, trees have been planted over the site’s interior, probably to act as a shelter belt for the nearby Firgrove House. Their initial planting and, at present, root systems must have done a deal of damage to site stratigraphy. For all of these reasons Site B, Firgrove Townland, is in a poor condition. In fact were it not for the terraced nature of the ringfort we would have little information on it. The ground here slopes from north-east to south-west. In the north-eastern area both levels (i.e. interior and surrounding field surface) are similar. Not so to the south-west where, outside the single bank, there is an immediate difference of 1 ¾ metres in levels. Such a difference increases as one moves away from the site.

The single earthen bank may be traced over much of the site, the exceptions being where the driveway and trackway have cut it. It is best represented over the western part of the site where it averages almost ½ metre in height by a width of 2 ½ metres. Over much of the ringfort the bank area is defined by trees which grow on it.

There is no information available as to the position of the original entrance. It may have been to the east due to the level nature of the ground in that area. As stated previously this site is of a circular shape with north-south and east-west internal diameters centring on 28 metres each.

Firgrove B: surviving part of bank to the north-west
Firgrove B: surviving part of bank to the north-west