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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 B: RINGFORT (Classification type 1 (b))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 52 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 12.4 cm South; 39.2 cm West
Height : c. 215’ O.D.
Shape : circular (see site plans)

Description of site:
While at the old lodge to Castle Crine House if one looks to the south you will make out, on a nearby rise, a railed off area. This is the private burial ground of the Butler family. Immediately behind this is ringfort B.

As was the case with nearby Site A, Castle Crine Townland, here also we have a ringfort with double banks and a fosse. Fortunately, however, in this case the site is free of a heavy vegetation covering.

Note: While describing the principal features of this site please refer also to Site Section Number 3, Volume 1 of this thesis.

Inner Bank:
Generally speaking this is quite poorly defined and all traces of it are to be found only in two small area, to the east and west. As it survives it averages a little more than ½ metre in height by 1 to 3 metres in width (see site sections).

Outer Bank:
This feature can be traced over the full site though is better represented to the north. On average this earthen bank survives to a height of about 1 metre and a width of 2 – 3 metres.

As the north-south and east-west sections show this feature can be traced over the full ringfort. The average depth is 1 ½ - 1 ¾ metres by up to 5 metres in width. A few young trees grow on this fosse.

Field examination noted a couple of interesting points in relation to this area. Firstly some tree trunks occur over the interior suggesting this area had formerly a heavier vegetation covering. These trees were cut down but obviously their root systems have damaged site stratigraphy. Secondly there is also evidence to suggest that the site’s interior was cultivated on some occasion. By careful examination one can notice traces of slight ridges east-west across the interior. These were possibly associated with potatoe cultivation. Their presence suggest the interior was dug on some occasion (occasions?) Thus again causing damage to site stratigraphy.

The site is of a circular shape with the north-south and east-west internal diameters centring on 30 metres each.

For information relating to the children’s burial ground (Cill) also in Castle Crine townland refer to the relevant part of Section 2 of thesis: “Church and Monastic Sites in the Barony of Bunratty Lower”.