Clare County Library
Clare Places: Towns & Villages
Home | Library Catalogue | Forums | Foto | Maps | Archaeology | History | Search this Website | Copyright Notice | Visitors' Book | Contact Us | What's New

Places of Interest

  • The Caher River separates the sandy beach to the south from the rocky beach to the north. The area to the north of the river’s mouth is known as the Rabbit Warren and is marked as such on the Robinson map. The Caher is the only Burren river to run along the surface from its source to the sea.

  • The Khyber Pass is a name given to the western entrance to the Caher Valley. It may have been so named by a military man who had seen service in India with the British Army.

  • The Caher Valley and Caher River probably take their names from the fact that there are so many ring forts or cahers in the immediate vicinity. St. Patrick’s Church lies at the entrance to the valley. Built in 1870, it is a single cell building with a small sacristy. Further up the valley, past the bridge, is a fulacht fiadh or cooking place to the south of the road. On the northern side, further on and 100 yards uphill, is a small crude building, the penal chapel of Fermoyle. Within it are a bullaun stone and an altar slab. Above this is the kileen or children’s burial ground known as Cillin Formoyle. Death is no stranger to these grey slopes. The Great Hunger wiped out the village of Caherbannagh and only the foundations and hearths are left as mute testimonials to this “deserted village”. Ring forts abound in this valley which is called after them. The most important ones are Caherbannagh, or Cathair Bheannach, close to the deserted village; Cathair Dhoire na bhFathach; and Cathair an Aird Rois, Caheranardurrish, with its ruined chapel and shebeen, overlooking both the Caher and the Feenagh/Rathborney valleys. This last named fort which might translate as the fort of the high door is well worth a visit. The long rectangular building with the double-door lintel must have been a busy spot when people sought the spirit of their choice!

  • Formoyle Chapel fell into disuse when St. Patrick’s Church was built at the western end of the valley in 1870. The walls are now only seven feet high and the Gothic windows have been filled in. Frost explains how Formoyle might be a reference to a rocky meeting place or possibly an assembly. Either could be correct. It was here in 1317 that O’Brien assembled his forces before marching on Corcomroe Abbey. Within the ruined church is a bullaun stone. The wells of Tobar Bhrain and Tobar Lonain are nearby.

  • The National School opposite the beach and recreation area was built in 1969 and the former school, built in 1887, is now a private house.

  • Killonaghan Church Ruin


    Killonaghan Church Ruin
    Killonaghan Church, the Church of St Onchu, the son of Blathmac, is reputedly an eleventh century building. The ruins contain some fine masonry of large coursed stones. The window is its finest feature; some would say its only feature.
  • Fanore Village, the village proper, is actually Craggagh. The Post Office, shop and bar are the commercial centre of this rambling, scattered community. Here also is a memorial to Garda Thomas Dowling, shot in error during an I.R.A. ambush in 1925. The Rural Resource Organisation houses have added considerably to the population of Craggagh/Fanore since they were built some years ago. Further down the road is the townland of Derreen East and beyond that is a small and rarely used quay.

  • Faunarooska Castle
    Faunarooska Castle
    Faunarooska Castle had been described until recently as a ruined cylindrical tower house similar to, but more crudely built than, Doonagore. However, its collapse in 1985 has left even less of it in existence. It was not mentioned in the 1580 list of castles within the county and the first mention of it, in 1641, referred to Fernandus MacFelem as its owner. It was later granted to James Aylmer and Henry Ivers.
  • The Ring Forts of Fanore are mainly to the east of the coast road between St. Patrick’s Church and the ruins of St. Columba’s at Crumlin. Most of them are high up on the hills and can be reached from either the coast road or the green road stretching from Cathair Bheag to Formoyle Chapel. The most important of them are, from north to south: Cathair Rois; Cathair Bhaile Ui Eidhne or Caher Balliny; the ring forts of Derreen East and Derreen West; not forgetting Lios Cunaire and Cathair Mhaol.