South-West Ireland



Saturday 29 March


The wheel at the old distillery in Kilbeggan has now been fully restored and is in operation (N331356).It is low breast-shot. The distillery is now a museum. A church and castle were investigated (N235165). At the gate of the churchyard is a small carved niche about 30cm by 15cm. The church ruin has a vault at the east end but is otherwise unremarkable. There are some 18th and early 19th century stones. The castle consists of one storey with a good batter. The interior is rebuilt as a farm outhouse.

The castle near Castletown House (N032008) is a tall ivy-covered fragment. It was not closely inspected. Another castle (N006002) is two or three storeys high with at least one wall completely gone. A great deal of ivy obscures detail but it appears to be a rectangular tower with a projecting wing. It is now used as a cowshed. The castle near Ballingarry (R985957) consists of a large bawn with a number of defensive slits. The wall is over 1m thick in places but the present gateway is in a thin rebuilt section. Inside is a dovecote with 18 niches in 3 rows of 6. There are no other buildings.

Sopwell Castle (R968939) is a fine structure standing to full height with a number of chimney stacks. It appears to be rectangular with a projecting wing. There are at least two bartizans and some mullioned windows. However it forms part of a modern farm and was viewed only from the outside. A castle with three ivy-covered walls and a good batter was inspected (R911884). There are at least two storeys with remains of a machicolation over the round-headed doorway. The windows are round-headed and are set within deep recesses. There is no stairway but traces of mural chambers are visible including a corner chamber at the first floor. The walls are at least 2m thick at the base. A tall slim tower is all that remains of an L-shaped building (R858847). It is vaulted above the first floor and rises to four storeys. There are some fine defensive slits including one with ogee head.

A motte was noted in passing near Nenagh (R844777). The castle near Cragg (R710653) is an ivy-covered ruin which was not closely inspected. A mill was noted in passing (R643575). A standing stone was inspected (Q963058). It is about 2m high by 1m by 50cm. The castle near Fieries Crossroads (Q907023) is an ivy-covered stump sitting on a rock. It was not closely inspected.

Sunday 30 March

A fort near Laharan House (Q845054) was investigated. It is a fine rath with a good bank which is low in places. Outside of this are two banks and ditches. The diameter of the platform is about 30m and the total enclosed area is about 60m diameter. The outer bank and ditch is removed in the south-east section.


Minnard Castle (V553990) is a large rectangular tower of at least four storeys. It is vaulted above the ground floor although most of the vault is missing. There are some traces of wicker centering. There are mural chambers at the first floor. There is no sign of a stairway from the ground floor to the first floor but above this in the SE corner are traces of a spiral stairway. There are three mural chambers in the NE corner. In the east wall the traces of the doorway include a draw-bar socket and a defensive loop. There are some traces of an inner doorway. The windows at the ground floor are small square- headed slits set within deep recesses. There are traces of a vault above the second floor. There is a fireplace at the first floor and the windows at this level have some pecked decoration. The walls are more than 2m thick at the base and there is a latrine chute exit at the NE corner.

A rath/cashel was inspected. It has a very low circular bank at least 40m diameter. Within it are some lintels and a depression in the ground indicating a ruined souterrain. There may be a house platform in the middle of the rath. About 200m to the west is Lisnarahardia (Q492022). This is a large rath/cashel surrounded by a bank, a deep ditch and an outer bank. The entrance is in the north. The low cairn in the middle may be a house platform. There are the remains of at least two circular huts and some large stones which may be the lintels of a souterrain. The small cairn in the east may be the remains of another circular hut. A gap in the south contains a number of large stones which may be traces of a gateway. The diameter of the platform is about 43m and the total diameter is about 65m. From the bottom of the ditch to the top of the bank may be about 4m. There is a large amount of scattered material near both banks which may indicate a much higher original structure.


At Ballintaggart (V464996), within a small cashel-like structure, are nine cigar- shaped sandstone boulders with Ogham inscriptions. Four of the stones have incised crosses. The enclosure is an old graveyard and there is a great deal of small stones as well as some larger grave markers. The walls of the enclosure are not very thick and the diameter is about 30m.

At Milltown, near Dingle (Q434013), is a large, overshot, metal waterwheel. It is about 7m diameter and 2m wide and is in good condition. The giant cogwheel on the inside rim drives a small cog less than 1m diameter. There are substantial remains of a wooden flume. The mill is ruinous but is partly used by a modern sawmill. The wall adjacent to the wheel was slated.

A large tree-planted rath was visited (V414996). It has a very high platform with a bank about 35m diameter. The small heap of stones near the centre may be rubble. There are good traces of a wall within the bank and a possible entrance in the east. Another rath has within it three possible hut circles (V358977). A small ruined souterrain leads from the western hut. Remains of a larger souterrain lead from the middle of the rath towards the east where the entrance to the rath may be. There is a large gap in the bank at this point and there is a good outer bank and ditch. The centre of the rath is greatly disturbed and the diameter is about 37m.


Dunbeg Promontory Fort (V351972) is defended on the landward side by four earthen banks with well defined, stone-lined entrances. Inside these banks is a substantial stone wall with a lintelled entrance. It was originally crescent-shaped but the western horn has now fallen into the sea. It is about 6m wide at the entrance and 3m wide elsewhere. There are guard chambers on either side of the entrance. The chamber to the left is about 2m in all dimensions and is entered from within the fort. It has a corbelled roof. Inside the fort is the ruin of a round house with a rectangular interior. It is surrounded by a lintelled drain. The pathway through the defences is along the lintels of a souterrain which is about 20m long and 1m high. The distance from the inner wall to the outer bank is about 35m.


At Slea Head (V330970) a conjoined pair of ruined huts was viewed. The larger hut is about 3.5m internally and it has two entrances, one of which is now blocked. This entrance is inside a field boundary and the other is outside. This outer entrance is about 1m high. The connecting doorway between the huts is less than 1.5m high. The smaller building is less than 3m internally and it has a small wall recess less than 1m square. Just up the hill is a fragment of another hut and about 100m further west is an intact beehive chamber almost totally below ground level. There are remains of many other structures in the vicinity.

Near Ballyferriter are the remains of a large clochan (Q353049). The walls stand to less than 1m and are grass-grown. A short distance to the south is a ruined cashel about 30m diameter with low scattered walls. There are two possible entrances in SE and W defined by upright stones. Just to the west is a collection of ruins which may be several round huts. There is a low cairn on the east side of the fort.

Riasc Monastic Site (Q367044) is a vast structure bounded by a stone wall. Within it are a number of ruined clochans including two large conjoined huts in the north. In the west are two smaller conjoined huts and in the south is a rectangular hut. In the south-east is a small round hut and near the east wall is another rectangular structure. Also in this eastern sector is a tall pillar about 2m by 1m inscribed with an elaborate cross. This is a Maltese cross in false relief and below it is an elaborate stem with curved foot. There are a number of other smaller cross-inscribed pillars. The enclosure is subcircular and about 40m diameter. It is divided into two sections by a curved wall NE - SW. In the south- west, just beyond the outer wall, is a small circular structure with a low entrance. It is about 2m diameter and 1m deep and may be a kiln.


Gallarus Oratory (Q395048) is a fine boat-shaped structure with a narrow doorway with inclined jambs. There is a small round-headed east window. Just above the doorway on the inside are two hinge-stones. The walls are about 1m thick and internally the oratory measures about 5m by 3m by 5m high. Close to the building is a stone about 1m high and inscribed with a cross within a ring, as well as some writing.

Caherdargan (Q399056) is a small cashel within which are the remains of six round houses. One of these is completely detached. It is about 5m diameter and has an entrance in the north. Four of the huts form a cluster. One of these is quite small and appears to be an addition. The other three have a common entrance in the east and are about 4 - 5m diameter. Inside one of these, the walls of which are about 2m high, is a small shallow souterrain running N-S. The sixth hut is joined to the cluster by an external wall and has its own entrance in the east.

Kilmalkedar Church (Q403062) is a small nave and chancel church which features the remains of a stone roof over the chancel. There is a fine Romanesque west doorway and chancel arch and the gables are high-pitched and have finials. Standing beside the chancel arch is a cross-inscribed stone known as the Alphabet Stone. It has a cross on either side and an inscription down one side. It appears to be a fragment of a larger stone since an incomplete carving occurs above one of the crosses. In the nave is a square- headed blind arcade. There are a number of round-headed windows. On either side of the east window are much-weathered masks. The Romanesque doorway features an inserted square lintel with a carved mask on the inside. The doorway has three orders. The outermost arch has a carved mask as a keystone. The church has antae at the top of which are carved masks. In the churchyard is a fragment of a large plain cross. Beside it is a thin Ogham stone about 2m high with a small perforation near the top. The inscription is on three edges. Near the churchyard wall is a very fine sundial with a Maltese cross inscribed on the reverse. There are a number of plain gravemarkers and a bullaun-stone standing on edge.

Monday 31 March


A small fragment of a castle (Q897112) was noted in passing. It is vaulted above the ground floor. Blennerville Windmill (Q813129) is being restored. It is a tall tower of five storeys with at least three windows at each level. The walls rise vertically to the first floor then taper.

Ardfert Cathedral (Q785212) has three lancet windows in the east wall and nine lancet windows in the south wall. There are some smaller windows in the north wall. There are traces of a sedilia in the south wall and an ambry in the north wall. On the east wall flanking the windows are two effigy slabs of clerics. Outside is an Ogham stone with a poor inscription. The cathedral is a long rectangular building with a south transept and a south aisle. It has been fortified and there are good crenellations. In the west wall is a much-weathered Romanesque doorway flanked on the outside by a blind arcade.

A short distance north-west is the nave of a nave and chancel church known as Temple na Hoe. There is a fine Romanesque chancel arch of two orders. In the south wall is a round-headed window with good decoration inside and outside. There is a Romanesque doorway in the west wall. There are high-pitched gables and the eaves are richly carved, including masks at the tops of the round corner columns. The small church a little further west is Temple na Griffin. It has a high-pitched roof and a two-light window in the east wall. In the frame of the window in the north wall is a panel depicting two intertwined beasts. The doorway is in the south wall.

Ardfert Franciscan Friary (Q791212) is a Rectangular church with a south transept and a south aisle. The transept has a west aisle. There are five lancet windows in the east wall and nine lancet windows in the south wall. Also in the south wall are a number of tomb niches and a possible sedilia. There are two tomb niches in the north wall. The cloister lies to the north of the church. The east of the cloister walk is intact and the south cloister arcade is in present. There are four three-light bays on each side. A two-storey building to the east of the cloister has vaulted rooms at ground floor level and the remains of a spiral stairway at the south end. At the west end of the church is a fine tower rising to six storeys. It is vaulted above the first floor. The upper levels are reached initially by an external stairway. There is another vault above the third floor. At the second floor there is a small mural chamber which may be a garderobe. Two stairways lead from this level to the north and south roof of the church. The roofway is intact on the south side. Another stairway leads to the higher levels of the tower. Above the second vault are two more storeys and another small mural chamber at the fourth floor. Beyond the fourth floor level the stairway becomes a spiral and rises to roof level. At the fourth and fifth floors there are good window seats. There is a small guard chamber to the right of the entrance from the external stairway. On the outside of the south wall between the church and the tower is a good squinch carried on corbels.

A tower-house was viewed from a distance (Q830265). It stands to about five storeys and at least three walls remain. There are traces of mural chambers. There are a number of small windows, a doorway in the west wall and a latrine chute exit in the south wall. A church was investigated (Q846269). The ruin is greatly overgrown and has little of interest. Opposite the entrance to the churchyard is a plain cross with one arm missing. It is about 3m high.

At Ratoo (Q879335) there are the remains of a small rectangular church. Just inside the pointed doorway is a stone dated 1666, possibly carved in Dingle. There are masons' marks on this stone. The two-light east window has ogee heads and a square moulding outside. About half the interior of the church is occupied by a large burial vault. There are a number of large vaults in the churchyard. Beside the church is a complete Round Tower. There are four windows at the top and the round-headed doorway has raised moulding and scroll decoration. About 200m east is the ruin of a small rectangular church that was not investigated. A search for Brown's Castle revealed a small fragment of wall close to the cliff edge (Q816366).


Lislaughtin Franciscan Friary (R005461) has a rectangular church with a four-light traceried east window. Above the pointed west doorway are the remains of a three-light window. The church has a south transept with a four-light window and this transept has a west aisle. In the western part of the nave in the north wall are two tomb niches. The site of the cloister is clear in the north but no buildings remain. To the east of the cloister is a two-storey building with a chimney at the north end. There are remains of a building at the west end of the cloister and a doorway to the north may indicate another building. In the church in the south wall is a triple sedilia and a tomb niche. The south wall at the east end is lit by three two-light windows which have good square moulding on the outside. There is a good hinge stone at the west doorway and ambrys at the east and south walls of the transept. At the north-east corner, just separate from the main building, is a fragment of a tower which rises to at least three storeys.

Carrickafoyle Castle (Q988475) is a large tower-house with remains of vaults above the ground floor and second floor levels. Most of the west wall is missing. The east wall faces the sea and a broad spiral stairway rises at the south-east corner. The eastern section is made of small chambers with a vault at roof level. There is a good double latrine chute at the north-east corner leading from first floor and above. The stairway leads to above the second vault. Just below this vault there are mural chambers in the north and south walls. There are some slopstones and marks of wicker centering. All the windows are small and there are no traces of fireplaces. At the roof level there are corbels of a bartizan or machicolation. On the landward side there is a short section of a bawn wall. Within this is a chamber which has been laid out as a dove-cot. A short distance to the west of the castle is a small rectangular church. It has a two-light east window and doorways in the north and south walls. There are a number of other small windows and just inside the south doorway is an interesting holy water stoup.

Listowel Castle (Q989336) appears to be a twin-towered gatehouse. The towers are joined by a wall within which are passages. The north-east entrance is between the towers and all of the castle to the south-west is missing. The entrance is protected by a machicolation arch at high level. The towers are vaulted above the ground floor but access to the upper levels is not possible. The building is possibly five storeys high.


Near Glena Bridge (R078222) is a corn mill. It is three storeys high and six bays long. There is a fine breast-shot wheel about 6m diameter and 1.5m wide. It is a metal wheel with wooden buckets, most of which have now disappeared. Two millstones lie outside. Two chimneys indicate a possible corn kiln but it was not possible to inspect the interior of the mill.

Tuesday 1 April

Farranfore Railway Station (Q938034) was inspected. It is a grey stone building erected in 1859 with a signal box and the base of a water tower (tank removed). There is a passing loop and the track bed leading to the water tower is clearly visible. There is a good iron footbridge.


At Killagha Augustinian Priory (Q816012) all that remains is a rectangular church. It has a very fine traceried east window of five lights. In the south wall is a double piscina with square basins and ogee heads. Within the niche is a rectangular credence table. There are a number of two-light windows in the north and south walls with square hoods outside. There are some traces of buildings to the south viz. a fragment of wall and part of a spiral stairway within the south wall of the church. There is a plain tomb niche in the north wall at the west end. Beside it is a holy water stoup.

Killorglin has a fine railway viaduct over the river (V778967). There are three spans of iron girders on stone piers. O'Donohoe's Bakery & Confectionery (V778961) is a large grey building with the remains of a flume which crossed the road at high level and led to a possible turbine. The building is dated 1937. On the other side of the river is a fine rath (V784963) about 45m diameter. It has a substantial bank which is very high in the north and low in the south. There is a good entrance in the east. There is no trace of an outer bank or ditch but these may have been destroyed by the building of the strong wall which now surrounds the rath.


Ballymalis Castle (V840939) is a fine tower-house which has been partly restored. It features two wall bartizans at the SW and NE corners. In the west wall is a latrine chute exit and, at roof level, the remains of a machicolation. The top floor room has three-light mullioned and transomed windows in the north and south walls. The window in the north wall has fine decoration on the outside. The floor below has two-light mullioned windows and all other windows are single-light. The doorway is in the east and is protected by a machicolation (remains only) at roof level. To the right of the doorway are remains of a small chamber above which are two more rooms. There is a vault above the upper room. To the left is the entrance to the ground floor room and a spiral stairway rises is the south east corner. There are fireplaces at the first and second floors. At the corners of the second floor room are the entrances to the wall bartizans. The stonework at these doorways has pecked decoration. The doorway from the stairway to the third floor room has very fine pecked decoration. Apart from the two large windows this room has two smaller windows and a fireplace. The large windows are set within deep round-headed recesses. Overrestoration is evident in the amount of concrete visible particularly around some of the window opening and the fireplaces. The stairway is lit by small lights and there are traces of slopstones. All of these windows have hinge stones for shutters. The stairway rises to roof level where traces of the gable remain. There are also some fragments of the allure.

Ross Castle (V950885) consists of a tall rectangular tower with square bartizans at the NW and SE corners. It sits on a rocky outcrop and is about five storeys high. The top storey has mullioned windows and there are mullioned and transomed windows at lower levels. The building is well provided with slopstones, particularly in the north wall. Opposite the entrance in the north is a short section of a bawn with two round flanking towers and a blocked entrance between them. Running south from the tower is a lower rectangular building lit by small slits. It is about two storeys lower than the main building and about twice as long. The castle is undergoing extensive renovation and is masked by scaffolding and buttresses.


Muckross Franciscan Friary (V975870) has a rectangular church with a south transept. There are good east and south windows. In the east wall of the transept are two niches which show evidence of painting. In the west end of the church there is a fine memorial of 1829. There is a greatly mutilated double piscina in the south wall near the east window. Opposite this is a tomb niche with remnants of a box tomb dated 1631. Beside the piscina is a single sedilia and another tomb niche. There are no signs of any aisles. A fine tower rises from the centre of the church. It is much thicker than the average Franciscan Friary tower and it has some traces of crenellations. The cloister to the north of the church is intact and a large yew tree grows from the centre of the garden. There are six arches on each side and each pillar has a buttress. In the middle of the north arcade is a simple incised sundial. Beside it is a small bullaun. To the east of the cloister is a three- storey building with a fireplace at the first floor. A spiral stairway rises between this building and the cloister to the first floor. The stairs then rise into the tower and lead above the tower crossing. There are at least three storeys above this level. There are more buildings to the north and west of the cloister. In the north at first floor level are two good fireplaces, a double piscina and some slopstones. In the west is another fireplace at this level. There are vaulted rooms at the ground floor on three sides of the cloister and much evidence of wicker centering. At the north-east corner of the ground floor is a latrine.


Aghadoe Church (V935926) has a Romanesque west doorway of four orders, three of which are fairly complete. The innermost arch is plain; the next has chevrons in the arch and key patterns in the columns; the third has round columns with decorated capitals; the outermost arch is fragmentary. The church is divided into two sections. There are small windows in the north, south and east walls of the western section. The window in the north wall has some decoration on the outside. The eastern section of the church is larger and later and has two lancet windows in the east wall. The south wall is almost totally gone. There are some carved fragments displayed here including an Ogham stone and a crucifixion. A short distance to the north-west is a fragment of a Round Tower. It is about 4m high.

To the south-west is Parkavonear Castle (V934924). This is a small round castle set within the remains of a subcircular earthwork. Two storeys of the tower remain with traces of a third storey. The ground floor is lit by a single light and the first floor has two openings and a fireplace. A mural stairway rises to the upper level. The earthwork is about 50m diameter and is much higher in the east than elsewhere. There are some traces of a second bank in the south.

A standing stone was noted in passing (V910920). It is about 3m high. St John's Mill, Dunloe (V880906) was built in 1874 for 600. It has a large metal waterwheel about 2m wide and 10m diameter. It is high breast-shot or pitchback. There are some traces of the flume. The mill has four sets of stones in a line at the first floor but the floors are fragmentary and the roof is missing.



A collection of Ogham stones was viewed at Dunloe (V879907). Seven stones are placed in a semicircle and an eighth stone lies within this area. The inscriptions are well executed and very clear. The inscription on the recumbent stone is not confined to the edges but also occurs on the flat face. The tallest stone is about 3m high and has a faint cross inscribed within a ring about 10cm diameter.

A standing stone, more than 1m in all dimensions, was viewed from the roadside (V863917). Castle Core (V851917) was viewed from a distance. One E - W wall stands about five storeys high. It has a gable and a chimney. There are fireplaces at the ground, first and third floors and traces of a bartizan at the NE corner. Another standing stone was viewed from the roadside (V801919). It is about 2m high by 1m square.

Wednesday 2 April


Cahergall (V448805) is a large Staigue-type fort with the entrance in the south- east. The walls at this point are greatly ruined but the entrance is well defined. Inside there are a number of steps and terraces on the walls. In the middle is the ruin of a round building. The walls of the fort are about 4m high and 5m thick at the base. The internal diameter is about 25m.

Leacanabuile Stone Fort (V446806) is reconstructed to about 1.5m high and has an entrance in the east. Just outside the entrance is a large pile of rubble which may be part of the original wall. Inside the fort are a number of ruined buildings. On the left is a semicircular hut. Opposite the entrance is a large rectangular hut attached to a circular hut. On the right is a smaller rectangular hut and just outside it is the entrance to a mural chamber less than 1m high and about 3m long. Just inside the entrance to the larger rectangular hut is a quern-stone and a bullaun-stone. Just inside the entrance to the circular hut is the opening to a souterrain. This is about 7m long and less than 1m high throughout. It follows a zigzag course towards the west wall of the fort where it enters a mural chamber through a rising-hole creep. This chamber is about 5m long and 1m high and may be entered through a modern gap from outside the fort. The walls of the fort are about 2.5m thick and the internal diameter is about 20m. Cather na gCat (V446812) is a ruined hilltop cashel nearby. It was not closely inspected.

Ballycarbery Castle (V447797) has part of the corner of a bawn wall in the north- west. It has a mural stairway and there are a number of simple defensive loops. The main castle is a large rectangular building with a projecting corner tower in the north-east. It is aligned E-W with vaults above the first floor. There would have been three large rectangular rooms at ground floor level with vaulted rooms above. There are mural chambers at the north-east corner and passages in the west wall. Mural stairways rise in the north wall and in the north-west corner to above the vault. A stairway in the north- east corner leads to chambers in the projecting tower. The room above the vault at the west end was lit by a large window with possibly three lights with ogee heads. Most of the castle at the south-east has gone. The upper levels are confined to the north and west walls and there are possibly four storeys. There are traces of crenellations and in the west wall there is a fragment of a gable. There are some traces of a doorway at the bottom of the stairway in the north and the castle is lit mainly by small slits at the lower levels.

At Ballinskelligs the Augustinian Priory (V432651) consists of a range of buildings running NE - SW. At the north-east is a two-storey building and closer to the sea is a rectangular church. There is an open area to the west and another rectangular building. Beyond this is another building. There are a number of two-storey tombs, all of which have been opened revealing coffin fragments and bones. At the east end of the church is a large archway and there are doorways in the north and south walls. The building just to the west has a small two-light window with ogee heads at the east end and a larger round- headed opening. About 300m to the north is the ruin of a small MacCarthy castle.

In Coom (V405659) there is a fine wedge-tomb about 5m long by 1.5m wide at the front. The antechamber occupies about half the tomb and the single burial chamber is roofed by a stone at least 2.5m long by 1.5m wide. There is a single stone at the back and two at the front. Each side is made of a long and a short stone. The antechamber is made of three large stones on each side, the tallest being about 1.5m high. The tomb is aligned W - E. About 500m west is a small cairn which may be a stone circle about 4m diameter. There are at least nine stones confined mainly to two arcs at the south and north-east and the tallest stones are about 1m high. The large number of stones in the east may be field clearance. About 200m north in Leabaleaha is a standing stone and boulder burial. The tapering stone is about 3m high by 35cm thick and 1m wide at the base. The boulder is about 2m by 1.5m and 40cm thick. It has a number of cupmarks on the surface. At Melagulleen (V443681) is a wedge-tomb with a very large capstone and sidestone. The capstone is about 3m long. There are some traces of an antechamber.


At Eightercua (V512647) there is an alignment of four stones NE - SW. The tallest is about 4m high by 2m wide at the base and very thin. The other stones are 2 - 3m high. Two other stones along with one of these form a small rectangular chamber on the east of the alignment and the whole thing may be part of a ring. It is set at the edge of a circular area with some large stones at the rim. The diameter is about 15m. A fragment of a castle was viewed from the roadside (V835691). Only one wall remains showing traces of a gable, chimneys and mural passages.

Thursday 3 April

A fragment of a wedge-tomb was viewed in Cornery (W157623). Three upright stones form part of a chamber. A mass-rock was inspected (W218649). It consists of two large horizontal slabs about 40cm apart. There are some large quartz pebbles around the edge of the top slab.

Carrignacurra Castle (W239667) was visited. It stands to full height and is vaulted above the second floor. There is a good murder-hole above the entrance leading from a small chamber at the first floor. To the right of the entrance is a guard chamber. A spiral stairway rises on the left to roof level. Some of the windows to the stairway have slopstones. There is good pecked decoration at the entrance to the first floor large room. In the north wall is a double chimney leading from fireplaces at the second and third floors. A mural passage leads from the stairs through the north wall to a wall bartizan in the north-west corner. About halfway along is a latrine. There are good traces of wicker centering in the vault. There is one storey and attic above the vault. The castle is ivy- covered in the east where the entrance is. A short length of wall projects from the south- east corner. This may be part of a bawn. There are no traces of machicolations or crenellations.


The castle at Boylegrove (W288676) is a heap of rubble. Cahervagliar Fort (W310606) is a large fort about 35m diameter with a good bank and two outer banks and ditches. The inner bank is of earth and stone and features a well-defined gateway of stone in the north-east. This is about 7m deep and 2m high and wide. A number of large stones just outside may be lintels. Just inside to the left is a horseshoe-shaped cairn which may be a ruined clochan.

Kinneigh Round Tower (W327572) is unusual in that it has a hexagonal base about 6m high and above that it is round. The square-headed doorway is in the east and is about 4m above ground level. There are a number of small square-headed windows at different levels.

Rossmore Castle (W311471) stands to full height and has corner bartizans at the north-east and south-west. There is a good machicolation at roof level above the doorway in the east wall. The tower is at least five storeys high with a chimney and traces of a gable. It is mostly ivy-covered. The castle is locked but it is possible to see that there is a guard chamber to the right of the entrance. A broad spiral stairway rises on the left. There are smaller chambers at the east end with larger chambers at the west. None of the floors in the main section appears to be in place.

Castle Donovan (W113496) stands to full height at three corners. Most of the south corner is missing. It is vaulted above the ground floor and rises to four storeys plus attic. A wide spiral stairway rises in the west corner almost to roof level before there is a break. Some traces may be seen beyond this. It is well lit by small rectangular openings and there are a number of musket-holes set within deep recesses. There are mural chambers within the S - W wall but none of these are accessible from the stairway above first floor level. There are fireplaces at the first and third floors and large windows at the second and third floors. There are bartizans at the north and east corners as well as traces of crenellations. The castle is guarded in the north-west by a steep mini-precipice.

A rath was inspected (W059484). It is about 30m diameter with a very low bank, missing in places. It is tree-planted and there are some traces of a ditch. Another rath was observed about 500m to the south. A large standing stone was noted (W060457). It leans slightly and is about 2.5m high by less than 1m square. Two raths were noted in passing (W035450 & 001448).


Kilnaruane Pillar Stone (V986476) was inspected. It is a cross-inscribed pillar about 2m high carved on two faces. On the south-west face is a cross and some figure carving. On the north-east face is a boat, carved vertically, with rowers and some other carvings. Just outside the railed enclosure is a boulder with a bullaun about 30cm diameter.

Friday 4 April

A number of raths were noted in passing (V957464, V957468, V913448, V903418 & V916426). Dunmanus Castle (V845330) is a fine tower standing to full height. Inside there is no access to the upper floors. There is a vault above the first floor. Mural chambers may be seen at the first floor and there is possibly a mural stairway above this level. There may be two storeys above the vault. The upper level is lit by two-light windows. There is a latrine exit at ground level in the south-west wall. It appears to be a double chute leading from the first floor and above. The doorway is in the north-east wall. A tower projects on two sides at the south corner. At the base of this tower is a room which can now be entered through a hole in the wall. The only other entrance is a square hole in the vaulted roof. This may have been intended to be a secret room. The room above also has a vaulted roof.

Altar Wedge Tomb (V858303) is about 3.5m long by 2m wide at the front and 1.5m wide at the back. There are two large capstones each about 2m square and three sidestones. There is no back or front stone. There is no antechamber visible and only slight traces of cairn material.


The portal tomb at Arderawinny (V875307) is composed of large slabs and is tilted to one side. The larger capstone is about 3m by 2.5m; the smaller capstone is about 2m by 1.5m. The portal stones are about 1.5m high and the doorstone is about 1m high. The sidestones are about 2m by 1m and there are traces of a cairn. The tomb faces west.

The castle at Castle Point (V869278) was viewed from a distance. It appears to be a tower-house of about five storeys and has been modernised. A standing stone was noted near Skull (V928316). It is about 2m high. A railway viaduct from the Skull and Skibbereen Railway was investigated at Roaring Water Bay, Ballydehob (V991353). It has twelve stone arches. Just to the east are the remains of the railway station.

Saturday 5 April

At Kenmare (V908707) there is a circle of 14 stones about 15m diameter. The highest stone is about 1m and some appear as boulders. There is a boulder burial in the middle. About 100m north-east is a lime-kiln.


Staigue Fort (V611633) is a fine fort with a well-constructed lintelled entrance. The walls are about 4m thick at the base and the internal diameter is about 25m. The wall is well provided with steps and terraces and varies in height from about 2m to 5m. Just to the left of the entrance is a mural chamber about 3.5m long by 1.5m wide and 2m high. Almost opposite the entrance is a second mural chamber about 2m long by 1m wide and 2m high. Around the outside of the fort are traces of a defensive bank and ditch. About 800m south of Staigue Fort (V607623) is a large slab of rock about 12m long with at least 20 cup-and-ring marks. Most of these are about 10cm diameter with at least two of 30cm diameter.

At Caherdaniel (V543595) there is a cashel about 25m diameter. There has been some rebuilding of the upper part of the wall but the original thickness is about 4m. On the outside to the west and north the wall is about 5m high. The original entrance is not clear. About 100m to the west is a much ruined cashel. A standing stone was inspected (V765714). It is about 3m high by 1m wide by 40cm thick and tapering. There is a low circular enclosure about 30m to the south-west.

Sunday 6 April


Askeaton Franciscan Friary (R342508) has a rectangular church with a north transept which has a west aisle. There is a good east window. In the south wall at the east end are two triple sedilias. Beside this is a memorial of 1646 appearing as a blind arcade. In the south wall at the west end are two tomb niches. There is also a tomb niche in the north wall. There are three windows in the south wall and one in the north wall. The west window is fragmentary. The cloister is intact and lies to the south of the church. In the centre of the north cloister arcade is a simple incised sundial and at the north-east corner is a fine carving of St Francis. There are vaulted rooms at the east and west of the cloister and a two-storey building to the south. At the south-east corner a spiral stairway rises to the first floor. A straight mural stairway at the south-west corner leads down to a small garderobe and beyond that to a basement south of the cloister. There is a fireplace in the vaulted room east of the cloister. North of the church at the east end is a room with a fireplace and part of a vaulted ceiling. In the east wall of the transept is a fine piscina with a drainhole.

Askeaton Castle (R342502) is built on an island in the river. It is about four storeys high and part of it is vaulted above the ground floor and first floor. There is a good fireplace at the third floor and a gabled roof. Beside it is a detached rectangular hall.

Beside the church at the edge of town (R345502) is an old tower now used as a belfry. The base is square and the top is octagonal. At the rear is a fragment of an old church. The tower is entered through a round-headed doorway in the south.

Nenagh Castle (R870790) consists of a massive circular keep and a portion of a rectangular gatehouse. The keep is about five storeys high and the top has been rebuilt. The walls are about 5m thick and above the doorway is a wall bartizan. Access to the keep was not possible at this time.

Near Toomyvara is a castle (R982791) standing to full height but with the roof missing. There is a chimney in the west wall and bartizans at the north-west and south-east corners. The doorway is in the north wall. There is a guard chamber to the right of the entrance and a spiral stairway rises in the north-east corner to roof level. The chambers in the north wall can be entered only from the main rooms. There is a latrine at the second floor reached by a passage along the east wall. All the other mural chambers are inaccessible. The tower is vaulted above the second floor. It is generally lit by small slits throughout but there are some larger windows at the higher levels. Only fragments of the castle at Togher remain (N541032). The east wall has four chimney stacks and a bartizan at the north-east corner. There is another bartizan at the south-west corner.



TOURS