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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 18: Tomfinlough Parish: Carrownakilly Townland

6” O.S. Sheet number : 51 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 2.5 cm North; 41.0 cm East
Height : c. 85’ O.D.
Shape : oval, north-south axis greater than east-west one

Description of site:
“…The wall to north-west is fairly complete, 12 feet 6 inches thick, 3 feet higher than the garth (i.e. interior)… It is 75 feet across the garth inside and abuts, like (nearby) Langough, on a low crag ledge over a bushy glen (to the north)…”
Westropp, 1917, Page 15.

A number of attempts were made between January 1977 and July 1978 to gain entrance to this site. Such attempts largely failed due to the depth of the vegetation cover. Certainly it was possible to examine areas of the stonefort to the south but I could not adequately examine either the interior or northern area of the site. We are therefore fortunate in having the above 1917 description by Westropp.

What did field examination find? As stated above the site is heavily covered by vegetation of a permanent nature, both trees and bushes. Their presence severely hampered site examination. Further damage has been caused by the dumping of some large stones, uncovered during land reclamation, into the site. For these reasons it was only possible to examine a small area to the south-west. Here the single stone wall reaches, along a 6 metre stretch, an average height of only 25 cm by a width of 2 ½ metres.

What of the interior? It was possible to walk a small section of this, to the south-west also. It is covered by loose stones possibly collapse from the nearby single wall. Because of the previously mentioned vegetation cover it was not possible to measure the internal diameters of the site. Therefore one has to refer to the relevant 6” O.S. sheet which suggests an oval shape. The north-south internal diameter centres on some 30 to 35 metres with 25 – 30 metres for the east-west area.