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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 13: Kilmaleery Parish: Ballymacnevin Townland

Site A: RINGFORT (Classification type 3 (a))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 51 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 25.6 cm North; 21.1 cm West
Height : c. 55’ O.D.
Shape : circular

Description of site:
This site is represented on the relevant 6” O.S. sheet as a circular field. However, field examination found it to be the site of a ringfort in a fair condition. As this site is built on steeply sloping land we find that the fort is of a terraced nature. Here the ground slopes from west to east and falls from 70’ to 30’ in a short horizontal distance. In the western area the ground levels on both sides (i.e. interior/exterior) of the single bank are similar. Within the fort the ground slopes fairly gently to the east though the centre of the site is some 2 metres below the outside level to the west. However the most marked difference in levels occurs by the eastern bank area. The surrounding field level, at the foot of this bank, is almost 3 metres below the level of the forts interior, by the same bank. This difference to the east, increases markedly the further you go from the site.

As stated previously here we have the site of a single banked ringfort. This bank is now best represented in the western area of the site, though because of the sites terraced nature its position can be followed over the full ringfort. It is poorly represented in the eastern part of the site with the extreme eastern area containing no trace of it. In the north-east and south-east it is low with a maximum height of 30 cm and a width of 1 ½ metres. In the west, on the other hand, its height averages 1 – 1 ¼ metres (though in areas reaches almost 1 ¾ metres) with a width centring on 2 metres. There is no evidence to suggest the existence of a fosse about this site.

There is the site of a possible house-site within this ringfort. In the site’s central north-west area is a mound of stones. This averages 3 metres wide (east-west) by 6 metres long (north-south). Due to the sloping nature of the ground its western face is at the one level with the fort’s interior at that point but the eastern side is almost 1 ¼ metres above the fort’s level. It may be outcrop and loose stones collected locally. However there is no evidence of outcrop in the surrounding area.

Field examination found two entrances into this ringfort, one to the north and the second to the south. Of these two the latter would seem to have been the original. This is now between 1 ½ - 2 metres wide and the ground around it has been heavily churned. In fact cattle moving through and sheltering in the site have caused some quite heavy churning in the western area, especially by the bank.

Field examination found that here we have a circular ringfort (area .297 of an acre, by the 1920 25” O.S. sheet). The north-south and east-west internal diameters centre on 30 metres each.