Clare County Library
Clare Places: Towns & Villages
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Places of Interest

  • THE TAUMEENS, Tomeens or To-Mines, probably derive their name from TOMHAIDHM, an eruption or bursting forth of water. The Taumeens were formed by the action of the underground river eroding an open gorge, destroying the roof of its subterranean course in the process. This created caves described in the eighteenth century as "vaulted and shelter'd with a solid rock, transmitting a sufficiency of light and air by intermediate chinks and apertures. At each side of this Elysian-like river, are roomy passages or rather apartments freely communicating one with the other, and scarcely obvious to any inclemency whatsoever, they are likewise, decorated with a sandy beach, level along to walk on."
    They are situated between the ruined Kiltannon House, once the seat of the Moloneys, and the dangerous remnants of Milltown Castle, owned by Cuvea McNamara in 1580. The Kiltannon river runs underground for over a quarter of a mile. Its course can be followed through the belt of woodland growing over and on both banks of the river. The greenery is interspersed by numerous pits through which the water can be seen. Natural bridges exist between the openings. During the nineteenth century concerts were held in some of the caves. See also Lloyd's Tour of Clare 1780
  • WEDGE SHAPED GALLERY GRAVES are fairly numerous in the Tulla region. Many of them were recorded in the "Survey of Megalithic Tombs in Ireland" by Ruaidhri de Valera and Sean O Nuallain. There is one in Moymore six hundred yards east of the Kiltannon river; another is inconspicuously sited on rough boulder-strewn ground south of the avenue leading to Derrymore House, at Clogher, north-east of Kilkishen. There is a ruined one about five hundred yards south of the bungalow built on the site of Maryfort House at Lismeehan. South of the road from Newgrove to Tulla the Milltown wedge-shaped gallery grave stands on level pasture land. About one-third of a mile north-west of Newgrove bridge is the Ballyslattery or Newgrove monument. The ruins of what might be another wedge-shaped gallery grave stand close to a fence on the brow of a ridge overlooking Maryfort and Castle loughs. In fact, the three baronies of Tulla Upper, Tulla Lower and Bunratty Upper contain between them over forty such monuments. Many of them are in fairly inaccessible areas, on rough, boggy or mountainous terrain. Eugene O'Curry mentioned that in 1839 there were seven graves in Milltown townland alone.
  • THE CASTLES OF TULLA included Fortane which was owned in 1580 by Donagh and Rory MacNamara, who also held Garruragh Castle. Tulla castle was owned by Donald Reagh McNamara; Formorla and Tiredagh castles were owned by Turlogh O'Brien; while Lisofin and Lismeehan were owned by Rory McNamara. The ruins or sites of most of these tower houses can still be located today. Fortane castle should not be confused with Fortanemore, a late seventeenth century house east of Tulla. The ruin of Fortane castle is near the site of Maryfort House which was demolished in 1967 by Conor J. O'Callaghan-Westropp.