Clare County Library
Clare Archaeology
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | OS Maps | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

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

Site B: RINGFORT (Classification type 3(b))
6” O.S. Sheet number : 42 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 7.9 cm South; 37.2 cm East
Height : c. 110’ O.D.
Shape : oval, with north-south axis greater than east-west one

Description of site:
As the classification type shows here we have the site of a double banked ringfort with fosse, built on sloping ground. This results in the site being of a terraced nature. What are the other features of this ringfort?

Inner Bank:
This is best represented in the northern part of the ringfort where it is just over 1 metre high by a width of 2 metres. Over the remainder of the site it is hardly traceable at all and is even absent in areas. The average height, where the inner bank occurs, is little more than 50 cm.

Outer Bank:
Field examination found that this feature has been completely removed from most areas of the site, the exception being to the north-east. Even in this small section it is quite poorly represented with the height centring on 40 cm and a width of 1 ½ metres. In the many areas where the outer bank has been levelled a stone wall has been erected in its place.

As mentioned previously this site is of a terraced nature. In the case of this particular ringfort the land slopes from north to south. Thus in the northern part of the fort the two levels (i.e. interior of fort and surrounding field surface) are similar. Not so to the south where there is a difference of 1.50 metres in levels. In many ringforts where a terraced nature occurs we find that the fosse is frequently poorly represented to the area where the difference in slope is most marked (to the south in this case). However not so in this case and this feature may be clearly followed over the full site. To the north the fosse averages 1.50 metres in depth by a width of almost 4 metres. In the case of the south the fosse depth is even greater, at 1.75 metres, while the width is again close to 4 metres.

There are two entrances into this ringfort, to the north-east and south-west. As the site probably had originally only one entrance it is not clear from field work which was the original. They both centre on a width of 1.50 metres.

The site itself is of an oval shape. The north-south internal diameter centres on 32 metres while that for the east-west area is only 28 metres.

Carrownakilly B: Photo of the south-eastern part of this ringfort with part of the fosse and interior visible
Carrownakilly B: Photo of the south-eastern part of this
ringfort with part of the fosse and interior visible