Heritage of Clare
Home | Natural Heritage | Heritage Forum | Grants & Funding | Heritage Plan | Heritage Focus | Placenames | Heritage Legislation | Links

Built Heritage

Clare Archaeology
(Clare County Library's comprehensive coverage of the archaeology of County Clare.)



















< Back to Heritage of Clare



County Clare possesses a wealth of built heritage in the form of historical and archaeological remains, including some of the best examples of early human settlements in Europe. The built environment of today will form the built heritage of tomorrow, in the same way as the building styles of the past have given an identity to the towns and villages in the County. Architecture is a dynamic entity, which may need to adjust to meet the needs of the current and future generations. Buildings have a practical role in shaping a positive future for County Clare and should be viewed as one of the many assets that make the County an attractive place in which to live, work and visit.

Built Heritage and Architectural Policy website

For further information on Record of Protected Structures (PS) and Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA) in County Clare see
Volume 4 of the County Development Plan
Appendix 3 of Written Statement Volume 1 for Architectural Conservation Areas in County Clare.

County Clare is recognised nationally for its Archaeological significance, with many large and well-recognised sites. Some areas of the Burren remain unchanged since the presence of the first farmer and are regarded as prehistoric landscapes fossilised in time i.e. Parknabinna. The vast number of archaeological sites alone in the Burren make it of international importance, with 300 recorded Fulacht Fiadh, 450 ring forts and the densest concentration known of wedge tombs in Ireland. Many more sites have yet to be located and recorded. The Discovery Programme revealed a wealth of Archaeology in the mud flats at the Shannon Estuary. The western stone ring forts were nominated for World Heritage Status this year.

Given the wealth of archaeological heritage in County Clare there is a clear need to enhance its protection, increase awareness of its value and make it accessible to the public. The preservation and protection of archaeology is paramount, as is the awareness of the value of archaeology. The communication of the education message to all the stakeholders and information to landowners and future generations is highlighted. The Burrenbeo Trust operate the Field Monument Programme, this scheme allows for an archaeologist to visit landowners and advise them about the monuments on their lands.
For further details of the Field Monument Advisor Scheme see

There are approximately 7,500 known archaeological sites and many more yet undiscovered. A recorded monument is regarded as a national monument, the preservation of which is a matter of national importance by reason of historic, archaeological tradition, artistic or architectural interest.

Heritage publications
for a list of the Built Heritage Surveys undertaken as part of the Clare Heritage Plan including The Clare Coastal Architectural Heritage Survey, Survey of the Industrial Heritage of County Clare, County Clare Thatched Building Survey, Cottage Survey, and
Rian na Manach - a guided tour of ecclesiastical treasures in Co. Clare
and for the associated iphone App see

There are 42 monuments in State Care in Clare. The Archaeology Inventory of County Clare is continually being updated and for further information on recorded monuments see
National Monuments Services website.

There are approximately 170 graveyards in Clare County Council ownership and many more throughout the County including Killeen’s or children’s burial grounds. The Clare Library Service have copies of “A Church and Graveyard Survey of County Clare” to view.

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht website