Caherconnell

Stone Fort

The stonefort at Caherconnell is one of the many ring forts to be found in Ireland. The Caher (Stone Fort ) is one of the finest examples to be found in county Clare. It's almost perfect circular shape is about 40 metres in diameter, which is twice the diameter of the average fort. It has walls up to four metres thick and in places three metres high. Ring forts were in use from 400 to 1200 AD, but there is evidence to suggest Caherconnell may have been occupied up until the 14/15th centuries. Since my previous visit in 2002, the site at Caherconnell has changed dramatically. There is now a visitor centre with a coffee shop and an audio-visual presentation.

Pathway to the fort

Prehistoric chamber

Archaeological excavations have taken place at the site in 2007, 2008 and 2009. One of the digs was centered around a prehistoric chamber 30 metres southeast of the fort. Originally thought to have been a souterrain, the 2008 excavation revealed a drystone circular chamber with a short passage at the north-east. Artefacts found in the chamber, such as chert , flint flakes, tools, two pieces of prehistoric pottery and a broken polished stone axe, are associated with the Early Bronze Age (In Ireland, c. 2000-1500BC). Found within the passage to the chamber were two burials of human remains radiocarbon dated to AD 1430-1530 and AD 1560-1630, suggesting a very long history of usage. One of the human remains was disarticulated, a ritual normally only practiced in much earlier times (c. 3700 BC).

Situated: From Ballyvaughan, travel south on the N67 for approx 2 km. Turn left onto the R480 and travel approx 8 km south. The stone fort is signposted in the field to your right – parking and visitor center clearly visible.. Caherconnell is about 1 km south of Poulnabrone Dolmen.

Discovery Map 51: R 2356 9951. Last Visited May 2009.

Longitude: 9° 8' 23" W

Latitude: 53° 2' 27" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey

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