Cashelore Stone Fort, Sligo, Ireland

Cashelore Stone Fort, also known as Bawnboy is a stone ringfort or cashel situated near Lough Gill, it stands beneath the shadows of Slieve Killery and Slieve Daean in county Sligo. Many of these stone forts dot the west of Ireland and originated in the early Christian period 440-1100AD. Three different names are ascribed to this one site, Cashelore (in Irish ‘Caiseal Óir’ – the fort of gold), Bawnboy (in Irish ‘An Bábhún Buí’ – the yellow enclosure) and Cashel Bir (in Irish ‘Caiseal Bir’ – stone ringfort of stakes). The oval shaped cashel is located on the summit of a small hill with a stream at the base of its west side. The cashel is 23metres in diameter E-W and 16metres N-S, the walls that remain are 3 metres in depth and 2.45 metres high. A partially blocked entrance stands at the northeast side of the structure and when one enters the cashel two large flagstones are visible in the centre of its interior. An excavation from 1891 suggests that a souterrain existed within the wall that led to the bottom of the hill, a number of skeletons were found within this tunnel. The inside of the rear wall is stepped and at its base is a jungle of nettles and thorns that prevent access to the base of the interior wall and perhaps the entrance to the rumoured souterrain. One source believes that Cashelore is identical with ‘Caislen-in-nuabhair’ mentioned in ‘the Annals of Loch Cé’, the entry for 1389 states,

“Ó Ruairc  subsequently brought the sons of Cathal Óg to him, and the war grew fierce after that. Eoghan O’Ruairc and the sons of Cathal Og went to  Caislen-in-nuabhair, when the cavalry of Muintir hÉilidhe opposed them, and made an attack on them; and the son of Ó hÉilidhe was killed by them, together with Maghnus Ó hÉilidhe. Muintir hÉilidhe were plundered by O’Ruairc, and by the sons of Cathal Óg. Muirchertach Ó hÉilidhe was slain in this war. Maghnus Ó Ruairc was taken prisoner,  per dolum, by Cormac Ó Fearghail. Peace was concluded by Ó Ruairc, and by Domhnall son of Muirchertach, and by the Clann-Donnchaidh, respectively”.

Though in quite a ruinous state I think this is a delightful cashel, that being said stone forts are possibly one of my favourite monument types that exist in Ireland, in my mind they give us a great insight into the day to day life of our ancestors.

GPS: 54.21006, -8.37757

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