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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 11: Kilfintinan Parish: Ballymorris Townland

Site A: RINGFORT (Classification type 2 (a))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 62 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 17.2 cm North; 26.2 cm West
Height : c. 55’ O.D.
Shape : originally circular now oval as partly destroyed

Description of site:
The first edition of the relevant O.S. sheet (1842) shows this site as a full ringfort. Later editions show part of the northern and north-western area cut away. This damage took place during the construction of the road linking the main Limerick – Ennis road to the house incorrectly called Ballymorris House on the 6” 1922 edition sheet (should read Bunker Hill House. Ballymorris House nearer to the main road). What remains of the site has been further damaged, to the east, by a farm trackway. Also animals grazing within and around the site have done damage, especially to the bank area on the north-east.

The site of the fort is a natural rise, from which the ground falls away in all directions but especially to the south. The site’s interior is at a higher level to the land immediately outside it. The difference between interior and outside levels by the single bank is almost 2 m in the southern part but is 4.5 m on the west.

The actual single bank is little more than ½ m above the level of the interior in the southern area where it is best represented. In the northern part it is the slope of the ground that largely defines its position. (In fact the nature of the sloping ground, mentioned above, is responsible for giving one the impression that the bank is well represented all about the site). There is no evidence to suggest the existence of a fosse about this site.

At present the site has an internal diameter of almost 30 m north-east by south-west and 24 m south-east by north-west. However allowing for the damage to the north would then get an internal diameter of some 30 m both north-south and east-west.

The site now has a number of entrances, especially in the eastern section of the site. It is impossible to state which one of these may have been the original.

Water supply would not have been a problem about this site. A short distance from the ringfort to the north-east is a well, while small streams flow west of the site.

Standing on the site offers a commanding view over the Shannon estuary, to the south, and the Cratloe Hills, to the north.

For information on Folklore relating to this site refer to section 4, volume 3, of the thesis: “Folklore on the Barony of Bunratty Lower” (item 5).

Ballymorris A: Platform nature to the east
Ballymorris A: Platform nature to the east