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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost

Part II. History of Thomond
Chapter 28

The Journal of Thomas Dineley, 1681



Barony of Burren

Barony of Burren [48], in the county of Clare, famous for Physical Herbs the best in Ireland, and equall to the best of England. Here are Eringo Roots [49] in great quantity. Oysters of middle syze, salt, green finn’d, farr exceeding our Colchester, as own’d by several Judges of both; this Barony affordeth not a piece of timber sufficient to hang a man, water in any one place to drown a man, or earth enough in any part to bury him. This consists of one entire rock with here and there a little surface of Earth, which raiseth earlier Beef and Mutton, though they allow no hay, than any land in this Kingdome, & much sweeter by reason of the sweet herbs intermixed and distributed every where. Earth or Mold is so precious here, that it is reported Process has bin severall times made for one neighbours removing earth in baskets from one anothers land. Here Horses 4 abrest draw the Plough by the Tayles [50], which was the custome all over Ireland, until a Statute forbad it. Yett they are tolerated this custome here because they cannot mannage their land otherwise, their Plough Geers, tackle, and traces being (as they are all over the rest of the Kingdome) of Gadds or withs of twigs twisted, which here would break to pieces by the Plough Share so often jubbing against the Rock, which, the Geers being fastened by wattles or wispes to the Horses Tayles, the horses being sensible stop until the Plowman lifts it over. Here people live to an extraordinary age, as observed by a Gentleman of this countrey, who hath an estate upon the place, that a man and his wife made above 204 yeers. The Rock is a sort of Limestone. And their Garrens, horses so called, are seldome or never shoo’d. It is not so seriously, as jestingly, reported that a Traveller passing over this Barony his horses leg chanced to stick in an hole between two rocks and to leave one of the shoos, which he alighting and searching for it, drew up out of the same place above 30 shoos; this is modestly thought the least number, for some undertake to say 30 dozen. Here is but one narrow road, no going out of it, and in this Barony the Particons of land are made by broad stones like slate turn’d up edgewise.

The common people here use Brogues made of raw hides [51] or untann’d Leather.

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