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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 J: RINGFORT (Classification type 1(a))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 43 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 26.3 cm South; 30.6 cm West
Height : c. 110’ O.D.
Shape : now damaged, originally possibly circular(?)

Description of site:
An examination of the relevant O.S. sheet will show this site to the immediate north-east of the previously mentioned site (i.e. Site I.). As this map suggests, and as field examination found to be the case, the extreme southern part of the site has been cleared and replaced by a more modern boundary line. When did this damage take place? An examination of the First Edition, 1842, 6” O.S. sheet has the site similarly represented. Thus the damage to the southern area was before 1842.

What are the other features of this single banked site? Firstly in relation to the actual bank – this can be traced over most of the site, the exception being the damaged southern area. It is best represented to the west where it is 1.20 metres high and an average of 2.25 metres wide. To the north and east the average height centres on ¾ metre while the width is similar to that in the west. Though quite a heavy vegetation covering exists on the bank it does not hinder the examination of that feature.

There is no evidence of a fosse from this site. At present there are a number of entrances into the vegetation-free interior. The one from the west being, now at any rate, the main one. A smaller gap occurs in the bank to the north-east. However with the bank removed to the south one cannot state definitely where the original entrance was.

As stated previously this site may originally have been of a circular shape, prior to the removal of part of the bank to the south. Now, at any rate, the east-west internal diameter is 23 metres while that for the damaged north-south part is only 19 metres.

There was some interesting local tradition on this area. The field where this single-banked ringfort is to be found is known as “Thyn’s Field”. During pre famine times a number of families farmed this field. At this time the site’s interior was cultivated. In fact such cultivation has continued up to quite recent times. Field observation noted the traces of potato ridges over the interior. During the Great Famine, 1840’s, some of these people died and others emigrated. In the late nineteenth century this field, and surrounding ones, came into the possession of one family.