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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

Forts in Kilballyowen Parish (O.S. 64, 65, 72)

Besides the Loop Head forts which are (save Dundahlin) of mere legendary importance, none of these structures in Kilmacduan are remarkable. A small earthen ring nearly levelled to the field lies beside the road in the hamlet of Fodry. Lissanooin in the low fields, near Kilbaha, measures about 150 feet over all; but its mounds are low and defaced. Lissalougha has a subsidiary earthwork or annexe adjoining it. There are some six little forts in Cloghansavaun; one is notable for its steep bank and a little stream which fills its fosse.

A number of earthworks lie near the village of Cross, three being in Feeard, four in Quilty, six in Oughterard, three small rings with low banks being close together and in line in a single field. One of fair size and some traces of another are found in Kilballyone townland, and nine round Cross. Most of these are small and low, several almost swept away. Not a few have no fosse or outer ring, or hardly perceptible traces thereof. One has a spring in its bank, a most unusual occurrence among early forts. A somewhat larger ring, with a high bank and a fosse, lies on the by-road to Rehy. Farther north lie the cliff fort of Dundoillroe, two large ring-forts, one called Lisroe and a small one, all three adjoining Tullig village; six more form a close group not far to the east, on a little stream. Two almost levelled rings are near Dundoillroe, one already noted, a mere house-site, the other on the cliffs to the south, low and small.

In the south of the parish, near the conspicuous hill of Rehy, we noted a fine high-banked fort and several ring-mounds, one named Lissalappaun in Kilcloher; but I have been unable to work systematically on these forts. There are traces of huts and souterrains in the same townland, near the steep road to the bridge, near Cloghaunbeg and Lissalougha. In all, over twenty forts extend along the slopes on the high ground of Kilcloher and Rehy along the Shannon bank. Lisroe has been entirely levelled since 1839.

As to the names, Kilbaha is the Cill Beitech of the “1390” rental; Killbeagh in 1655, and Killbehagh in 1675. [45] Kilcloher appears as Oillin Clochair (? Coill Clochair, as some suppose) in “1390.” Kilballyowen and Rehy appear as Baile-Ieoghanain, and Reiche in the same document, the former being “Kellmolihegan” in the Taxation of 1302, the latter appearing as Rehi Eriagh, Rehi Nagarien or Keiltie (Quilty) and Rehea in the patent of 1622; Reheygarron, -dadran and -west in the 1655 and 1675 Surveys. [46] Ross is supposed to be the “Ross benchoir near the western ocean,” of which Cocca, nurse of St. Kieran, was abbess; but it is elsewhere [47] located on the “eastern ocean.” Of medieval buildings the early church of Temple-na-Naeve at Ross and the late one of Kilyballyowen alone remain. Kilcoan, near the first, and Kiltrellig have long been levelled. [48]