I drove through the Burren and along Galway Bay, then turned toward Shannon Harbor and the Grand Canal. Near Ardrahan I stopped to photograph a thatched cottage. I parked where it was a bit wider on the other side of the road. A woman came out and asked me to photograph her horse. It was one of the most wonderful things that happened on my trip. She showed me medieval ruins, farms and so many animals.
She guided me on, across fields, showing me things. The fences are made of stacked rock. She just moved rocks to make a gate to pass through, then stacked them back again.
We passed a small lake. The rock fence passes right through it. She pointed out where ruins were in the lake and said something about it being an old castle or something. It is included in the Archaeological Survey of Ireland.
GA113-027 Class: Ringfort – Cashel
Townland: BRACKLOON (Dunkellin By.),CAHERATEIGE
Description: On a rise in rough pastureland prone to flooding. Poorly preserved circular cashel (diam. 18m) defined by a collapsed drystone wall from SSW to NW and from NNW to E; no trace survives elsewhere.
Ringfort – Cashel: A roughly circular or oval area surrounded by a stone wall or walls. They functioned as residences and/or farmsteads and broadly date from 500 to 1000 AD. See Ringfort – rath for earthen equivalent.
She showed me some sort of underground chamber. I was able to get these photos using the flash on the camera. I wish I’d had a flash light! You can see it is stacked stone walls with a large stone as the roof. I crawled in, using the dim light from my phone, but something bit me and I got out really fast. I thought I was snake bit, but remembered there are no snakes in Ireland. But I was something bit. It healed up fine, though. I got a snippet of video.
I found it marked on the Historic Environment Viewer Map.
GA113-097001 Class: Souterrain
Townland: CLOGHBOLEY,ROOAUNMORE (Dunkellin By.)
Souterrain: An underground structure consisting of one or more chambers connected by narrow passages or creepways, usually constructed of drystone-walling with a lintelled roof over the passages and a corbelled roof over the chambers. Most souterrains appear to have been built in the early medieval period by ringfort inhabitants (c. 500 – 1000 AD) as a defensive feature and/or for storage.
Next we saw some beautiful sheep. The most beautiful sheep you have ever seen.
Our destination was her brother’s house.
She showed me various pieces of farm equipment. I looked them up to see what they are for. This is what I have found so far. The one marked Pierce Ideal was made by Philip Pierce & Co Ltd. They were ironfounders, agricultural implement and tool manufacturers and machinery manufacturers. The company was established in 1914 in Wexford, County Wexford, Ireland.
It is a Root Cutter Chaffer. It is also referred to as a Turnip Pulper. I’m pretty sure that is what my guide told me, too. A Root Cutter Chaffer would take any root vegetable and slice it up so it could be used as animal feed. Turnips were commonly used.
My guide brought me to where two heavy machines were digging the cellar for a house. The solid rock is dug out for the cellar, then used in building the house. These are Hitachi EX200 with Jack Hammer breaking the stone to put in the cellar and foundation.
Finally, my guide made sure I knew how to get back to the main road. She was very concerned I would be lost. She led me by bicycle.
I was there a long time. My first photo is time stamped 11:55. My last, 4:37. This was absolutely a high point of my visit to Ireland. She gave me her address, but I lost it. I only recently, using Google Maps figured out where I was.
Next: Ardrahan, Shannonbridge and Clonony Castle >