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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: Ballymulcashel Townland

Site I: RINGFORT (Classification type 2 (a))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 43 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 24.0 cm South; 29.3 cm West
Height : c. 130’ O.D.
Shape : circular

Description of site:
As the relevant O.S. sheet shows this site is in a small field, immediately behind a farmhouse. Field examination found it to be in a fairly good condition, unlike all previous archaeological sites in Ballymulcashel Townland.

The single bank could be traced over the full site. However one can only examine it in any detail to the west. Here it is almost ½ metre high (above interior level) and 1 ½ metres wide. Over other areas this bank has been planted with bushes and trees to act as a field boundary. Such vegetation covering hinders field examination. As the classification type above shows here we have a platform-type site. Such a nature makes the single bank all the more impressive from the outside. In reality, as stated above, this bank is less than ½ metre above the interior level. The interior itself is, on average, about ¾ metre above the surrounding surface. There was no field evidence to suggest the existence of a fosse about this site. As stated previously this site is circular in shape. Field measurements from the north-south and east-west internal diameters centred on 26 metres each.

Any local information on this site? I was told by the man who owns the land where this ringfort occurs that some years ago while burying a calf in the site’s interior he came across a layer of charcoal some 3 feet (almost 1 metre) below the surface. No other finds were noted then or since.

Why was it necessary to construct a platform-type ringfort? Locals say that after periods of heavy rainfall the land here gets quite wet – i.e. the watertable is close to the surface. To overcome this problem a site was built ¾ metre above this surface.