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Ring-Forts in the Barony of Moyarta, Co. Clare, and Their Legends
by Thomas Johnson Westropp

Part I.—From Loop Head to Carrigaholt

The Forts and Their Legend: Cahercroghaun

There was once an important group of forts running across the neck of the headland from Cahercroghaun, on a low hill to the north, down to Dundahlin, which we have already described, on the brink of the Shannon.

Cahercroghaun [16] is a mere levelled ring of grey stones, 180 feet in diameter, girding the summit of the “croagh” or “hump,” from which it evidently takes its name. It was levelled for building material for a Telegraph Tower, a relic of the fear of Napoleon, itself levelled so as hardly to show a foundation; not a single fragment of the facing of the caher wall subsists. The knoll rises to 272 feet above the sea, of which it commands a magnificent view out southward to the bluff Kerry Head, the jagged Blasquets, and the domed Mountains of Corcaguiney; beyond the great old castle of Cuchullin’s Leap; up the Shannon, past the dark tower of Scattery and the white lighthouse of Tarbert to the church-crowned hill of Knockpatrick in county Limerick, whence St. Patrick blessed Thomond and its islands. Northward we look over the scene of the Firbolg’s settlements—

“along the pleasant coasts
As far westward as Dun Aenghus in Aran”—

as Mac Liag, the bard of the great King Brian, sang nine centuries ago; up even to the soft, violet Peaks of Connemara, sixty miles to the north, and where the foam of the great waves is seen flashing against Moher thirty miles away. [17] Cahercoolia is shown as perfect on the map of 1839; it is now barely marked by shapeless mounds and pittings on a heathery hillock in the moor near the Ross road.