Heritage of Clare
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Built Heritage

Clare Archaeology



















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County Clare possesses a wealth of built heritage in the form of historical and archaeological remains. 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.

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

For further information on Record of Protected Structures (RPS) and Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA) in County Clare see

Volume 1 Clare County Development Plan 2017 - 2023: Written Statement - Appendix 4 Architectural Conservation Areas in County Clare

Volume 4 Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023: Record of Protected Structures


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.

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 Burrenbeo Trust operates the Field Monument Programme, this scheme allows for an archaeologist to visit landowners and advise them about the monuments on their lands.

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

A list of the Built Heritage Surveys undertaken as part of the Clare Heritage Plan, e.g. The Clare Coastal Architectural Heritage Survey, Survey of the Industrial Heritage of County Clare, County Clare Thatched Building Survey and Cottage Survey.

Rian na Manach - a guided tour of ecclesiastical treasures in Co. Clare

This guided tour of ecclesiastical treasures in County Clare is a heritage information booklet which has been converted into a free downloadable iPhone / iPad application for visitors to 33 early Christian, medieval and celtic ecclesiastical buildings in County Clare. It is the first initiative of its kind to be launched in the county and features 33 church heritage sites across four trails throughout County Clare which are supported by text and photographs. These sites highlight the historical background to Clare's rich ecclesiastical heritage. The application is available to download from the iPhone App Store: Download the Clare Ecclesiastical Trails app


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 cillíns or children’s burial grounds. See:

A Church and Graveyard Survey of County Clare.