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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 10: Kilfinaghta Parish: Ballysheen More Townland

Site A: RINGFORT (Classification type 1(a))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 52 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 2.4 cm North; 22.3 cm West
Height : 100’ O.D.
Shape : oval, with north-south axis greater than east-west one

Ballysheen More A: Photo showing single bank to west, and possible northern house site area with it’s vegetation covering
Ballysheen More A: Photo showing single bank to west,
and possible northern house site area with it’s vegetation covering

Description of site:
This ringfort, as an examination of the relevant 6” O.S. sheet will show, is of special interest for two reasons. Firstly its size – it is the largest ringfort in the Sixmilebridge area. Secondly it is one of the few sites in the Barony of Bunratty Lower that is named, i.e. Gortalassa Fort.

What are the features of this site? It is a single banked ringfort, the bank of which may be traced over the full site. Unfortunately much of this feature is covered by heavy vegetation, mostly hawthorn bushes and trees. However this bank can be fully examined in two small areas, to the south along a 5 metre stretch and in a 10 metre long section between the south-west and north-west areas. In these areas the bank averages ½ metre in height and between 1 ½ and 2 metres in width.

Due to the nature of the vegetation covering it was not possible to find the original entrance area.

The large oval shaped interior of this site is free of vegetation but for one area. This is in the north-west part of the ringfort. This area, between 10 and 15 metres in diameter, is of interest. It is clearly defined by a ring of hawthorns, within which stones occur scattered over the area. However in two places these stones appear to have a regular shape. In the south-western part of this area is a slight mound, ½ metre high and 3 metres in diameter. Also towards the centre of this area a number of partly vegetation-covered stones from a regular rectangular shape. The sides of this are 2.50 metres in length by 1 metre in width. This rectangle averages 15 cm in height. Can such seemingly regular shapes be taken to represent house-sites? Certainly the strong possibility exists.

As stated previously this ringfort is oval in shape. Field work found the north-south internal diameter to centre on 75 metre while 60 metres would be closer for the east-west measurement.