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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: Castlecrine Townland

Site A: RINGFORT (Classification type 1 (b))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 52 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 7.6 cm North; 40.8 cm West
Height : c. 225’ O.D.
Shape : circular

Castlecrine A: Distant shot of tree covered site. The photograph was taken from the Butler family private burial ground, to the south
Castlecrine A: Distant shot of tree covered site. The photograph was
taken from the Butler family private burial ground, to the south

Description of site:
An examination of the relevant 6” O.S. sheet at the above reference will show a large roughly circular shaped ringfort to the immediate east of Castle Crine House. This site, again based on map work, would appear to have a path leading around its interior, a path or walk from the nearby house. Though free of vegetation some orchards and tree belts occur to the north-east and south-west of the ringfort.

What did field examination find? While the site was formerly in a good condition, and kept free of vegetation as it formed part of a favourite walk of the Butlers of Castle Crine, the site now is in a poor overgrown condition. Such damage started in the late 1920’s when the Butlers sold out and the land was divided amongst local small farmers. The man on whose land the ringfort occurred showed no interest in this site and he gave vegetation a free hand. The former path through the interior is damaged and covered by bushes and trees. The wide and deep fosse has now many trees growing within it. The outer bank is likewise damaged and in areas masked by a heavy vegetation cover.

Inner Bank:
Due to the above mentioned heavy vegetation cover this feature can be only examined in a few areas. One such area is to the south/south-east. Here this bank is 3.50 metres high above the fosse floor. However from the interior level it is only 1.50 metres high. In relation to its width, while the average would be almost a very wide 4 metres in parts of this south/south-east area it reaches 5 metres.

Outer Bank:
Some modern cuttings have been made through this feature. These show us it was made entirely of earth, some 5 metres wide in places (though the average would be closer to 4 metres), between 1 and 1.50 metres high but with a maximum of 3 metres to the south-west.

As stated previously the fosse about this site is both wide and deep. In spite of a heavy vegetation cover it is still possible (1978) to walk around most of this feature. On average the fosse is 4.50 metres wide and 3 metres deep.

Due to the heavy vegetation covering over most of this site it was not possible to measure the site’s interior. However, from the relevant 6” O.S. sheet, I estimated the north-south and east-west internal diameters at some 40 metres each.