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Archaeology of the Burren: Prehistoric Forts and Dolmens in North Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp

Part V: The Corofin District: Footnotes

1. I (as usual) apply the term ‘prehistoric’ to any early but unrecorded period, even if within the limits of history in general.

2. The earlier notes relate to Eastern Clare. Magh Adhair, vol. xxi, pp. 462-3; Killaloe, xxiii, p. 191; Moghane, Langough, &c., xxiii, p. 281; and Cahercalla, xxvi, p. 150. The survey of the forts of the other parts of the county may be found - the eastern half in ‘Proc. R. I. Acad.’, Sec. C, vol. xxvi, p. 217 (Newmarket and Tradree), p. 376; (Quin, Tulla, Bodyke), vol. xxix, p. 186; (Killaloe) South-west Clare, vol. xxxii, p. 58; (Broadford to Clooney), ‘Journal’, xxxviii, pp. 28, 221, 344; xxxix, p. 113; xli, p. 117. Many are briefly described, with plans, in ‘The Cahers of Co. Clare,’ ‘Proc. R. I. Acad.’, vi, Ser. III, p. 415.

3. It is satisfactory to note the valuable work done by Mr. H. T. Knox in the ‘Journal’, vol. xli, pp. 93, 205, 302, and by Dr. Costello and Mr E. Holt in the ‘Galway Archæol-ogical and Historical Society’ (vols. ii, p. 105, and vii, p. 205) on the forts of Connacht.

4. I believe my informant referred to the northern fort and not to ‘Lisheenvick-naheeha.’ It is Lisín an chróchaire (little fort of the hangman), telling a grim story of some forgotten execution.

5. Noted in the ‘Journal’, vol. xxvi, p. 368.

6. The Cahermacirrila of the O.S. maps.

7. Proc. R. I. Acad.’, vol. iv, Ser. III, Plate IX, No. 4, and p. 545.

8. For ventilating shafts see Lubbock’s ‘Prehistoric Times’ (5th ed.), p. 121. They occur in several Irish forts, e.g. Ardfinnan Rath.

9. Proc. R. I. Acad.’, vol. xxvi, p. 465, plate xxv. See also ‘Journal’ xxxv, p. 212.

10. Journal’, vol. xxx, p. 32.

11. See Cathreim Thoirdhealbhaigh, 1317. Near it were ‘Bescnate’s streaming banks.’

12. No similar feature is found at or near the other Tulachs, Tulach na nEaspog in East Clare or Tulach ui Chuirc near Kilfenora; while Tullycommaun seems off the track, and has no narrow ridge on top, though, as Mahon fled to Inchiquin, and the Kinel Fermaic came in to Murchad and went with him to Corcavaskin, the site is not impossible. But the question is at present uncertain.

13. One of the Teernea cathairs is called, in 1655, Caher Tirnavoghter in the Book of Distribution.

14. Book of Distribution, p. 526.

15. Public Record Office, Dublin.

16. Will, Killaloe Registry.

17. Report xvi, Dep. Keeper Rec. Ireland, p. 196. The place is Craig Corcrain in the Annals of the Four Masters, 1589. In all other documents of Elizabethan times it is Cahercorcaun; probably both names existed as Tullycommaun and Cahercommaun, Cluainsavaun, Dunsavaun, and Clochansavaun.

18. They and an earthen fort to the west named Ratharella are in line. Only the east segment of Cahervickaun remains.

19. Morogh, Earl of Thomond, granted Cahirbeanagh in Inchiquin to Michael O’Dea, 14th December, 1660. The latter assigned it to Samuel Burton (of Buncraggy), July 18th, 1685. (Patent Rolls, William and Mary, No. 5, Pars 4, facie).

20. ‘Journal’ xiii, p. 160, and xiv, p. 12, ‘Proc. R. I. Acad.’ xxvi (c). Plate xxv for plan and section, p. 467 for description.

21. Plan of the lower dolmen, ‘Proc. R. I. Acad.’, vol. xxvi (c), plate xxv, and p. 467.

22. It is marked, but not as an antiquity, on the new map at the ‘R’ of ‘Riverstown.’

23. The district appears in Irish literature as a haunt of Finn. ‘The Dialogue of Ossian.’ (‘Trans. Ossianic Soc.’, vol. iv, p. 51) tells of his ‘two hounds at the Lake of Inchiquin, two hounds at Formaoil’ or Formoyle in the neighbouring parish of Inagh. The scene of the ‘Feis tighe Chonain’ is laid on the summit of Inchiquin Hill, and the same summit figures as a battle-field between Finn and the Tuatha Dé in the local legend of the Glas cow.

24. Vol. i, p. 67.

25. Supra, vol. xxvi, p. 367, plan. ‘Ancient Forts of Ireland’, Plate VII. It is called Cahermore in Glenkeane in 1655, in the Book of Distribution and Survey, p. 519.

26. Proc. R. I. Acad.’, vol. xxvii, Plate X.

27. The cairns in early times were sometimes the scenes of magic rites. The Annals of the Four Masters, under A.D. 555, cite a poem attributed to St. Columba, which alludes to ‘the hosts which proceed round the cairns.’ Also Annals in ‘Silva Gadelica’, vol. ii, p. 424, ‘round the brugh let him walk right-handed.’ I have heard of no relic of such observance in Western Ireland, though some attached to dolmens.

28. See ‘Journal’, xxvi, p. 364. It is also called Cahermore, a very common name in north-west Clare.

29. The dolmen was destroyed about 1880 by an idiot, who set the fuel stored in it on fire.

30. Revue Celtique’, 1892, p. 378.

31. Journal’, vol. xl, p. 126; Battle of Magh Tura, p. 65. See also ‘Rian Bo’ (Rev. Patrick Power), ‘Journal’, xxviii, p. 1, and xxxv, p. 110. For Mr. De Vismes Kane’s ‘The Ulster Earthworks,’ see ‘Proc. R. I. Acad.’, vol. xxvii, p. 322; also Canon Lett in ‘Ulster Journal of Archæology’ (new), vol. iii, pp. 23, 67 - all very full and valuable papers. Also ‘Ancient Forts of Ireland’, section 149. In the ‘Táin Bó Cuailnge’ (ed. Faraday), p. 141, the Dun Bull digs a long double ditch.

32. Revue Celtique’, vol. ii, p. 93.

33. Journal’, xxv (1895), p. 227. ‘Folk Lore’, vol. xxii (1911), pp. 88, 89, also vol. xxiv.

34. Journal’ xxvi, p. 365.

35. Journal’ vol. xxxv, p. 346. Glasgeivnagh legends, see, for MacKineely and Balor at Tory Island, Donegal, ‘Ulster Journal of Archæology’, vol. i, p. 115, and ‘Bentley’s Miscellany’, Nov. 1837; for Elin Gow at Cluainte in Kerry, J. Curtin’s ‘Hero Tales’, p. 1; for the Clare Stories, ‘Folk Lore’, vol. xxii, 1911, xxiv, 1913; also ‘Journal’, xxv, p. 227. For the ‘Gloss Gavlen’ in Achill, see ‘West Irish Folk Tales’, W. Larminie, p. 1. She would pasture at Cruahawn of Connacht, and drink at Loch Ayachir-a-guigala. The legend also occurs at Ballynascreen in Derry, and Glengavlen in Cavan. There was a mound of the Glas at Tara.

36. Proc. R. I. Acad.’, Ser. III, vol. vi.

37. The Ordnance Survey Letters frequently describe essentially early churches as late when a Gothic door has been inserted.

38. Miss Stokes in ‘Three Months in the Forests of France’, p. 28, mentions her discovery round the knoll on which once stood the monastery founded by St. Columbanus at Annegrai, of a dry-stone wall, like Irish cashels, probably dating from the founder’s time, circa A.D. 580; a view is given. There was a cashel at St. Elois’ Monastery of Solignac, ibid., p. xxxii.

39. Vita S. Mochullei Episcopi, also ‘Journal’, xli, pp. 17, 18.

40. Proc. R. I. Acad.’, xxv (c), p. 413, xxvi (c), p. 60.

41. Vita S. Fancheae.

42. I found the supposed ecclesiastical earthwork at Kilmore, Co. Waterford, had no tradition or trace of a church or graveyard inside this strange but overrated earthwork. The name proves nothing, as the church (or wood) may have been elsewhere in the townland.

43. Vol. xxvi, p. 367.

44. For the former description and views see ‘Journal’, vol. xxvi, pp. 366-7 and ‘Ancient Forts of Ireland’, fig. 13, No. 6.

45. I have not, however, found the name Ballaglish in any document; the place is Eaglascarna in the Earl of Thomond’s Estate Map, 1703.

46. Pipe Roll No. 27, anno xxvii Edw. I.

47. Fiants Elizabeth (Report D. K. R. App. No. xv).

48. Book of Distribution and Survey (P.R.O.I., p. 520); the name, though found in common use in the townlands by Dr. Macnamara and myself, does not appear in the 1839 map.

49. Or 704, according to the Annals of Ulster.

50. Journal’, xxvi, p. 368. The nearest equivalents to the long parallel traverses across the garth are, so far as I know, those in the ring-fort at Carrowmore, Co. Sligo. Such also occur in German forts.

51. I have to thank Mr. C. MacDonnell, of Newhall, for the use of his copy of the will.

52. It was called Cahirpolla, and adjoined Ballyganner; one document seems to place it next Lismoher.

53. Dromoland Papers. For her legends and history, see ‘Journal’, vol. xxvi, p. 363; vol. xxx, p. 408.

54. Described in a paper on the remains in eastern Clare, ‘Proc. R. I. A.’, 1913.

55. Vol. i, p. 70.

56. Dolmens of Ireland’, vol. I, p. 80. See also ‘Journal’, vol. xxxi, p. 291.

57. The plan is by Dr. G. U. Macnamara, who also measured the tumuli at Knockacarn and Ballyganner Hill for me. The townland is locally called Ballycloonacahill.

58. Journal’, xli, p. 125, pp. 132-136; xxxviii, pp. 28, 114, 221, 344.


Part 5