Caherconnell Stone Fort is an early 10th to mid 12th century structure situated in the heart of the karst landscape of the Burren in County Clare. It is one of the largest stone forts still standing in Ireland, with a circular dry stone enclosure wall measuring 42 metres in diameter. Its walls are 3 metres in depth and 3 metres in height but evidence suggests it would have originally measured 4 metres in height. Within the closure are the remains of a dry stone wall about a metre wide. It is believed that the fort was first in use during the early 10th to early 13th century, after this it may been left unoccupied for some time (though one cannot be certain) however it is known that it was occupied again between the early 15th and mid 17th century. There are two visible structures within the enclosure, one of these is a rectangular structure known as ‘Structure A’ this is believe to be the last structure built in the second occupation of the fort. There are ongoing excavations at Caherconnell which are throwing up all sorts of interesting findings such as Neolithic or bronze age postholes which have been found to the southwest of the fort. There is also evidence of a possible medieval corn-drying kiln however the partial remains of three people dumped at its entrance, dating to the 15th or 16th century remains a mystery! It is believed the fort was under the control of the Uí Lochlainn, also known as the Ó Lochlainn family, one of the old Irish clans of the Burren. Jewellery has been found during investigations, as has glass of Venetian origin and amber from the Baltic. Other finds include iron arrowheads, two rotary quern-stones, the partial remains of a metal dress-pin and the stone-mould used in its manufacture, and also a 13th century single sided bone comb. Caherconnell is an excellent site to visit and praise must be given to the owners of the site who have added an excellent interpretative centre and coffee shop that does not detract from the majesty of the site but is a welcome addition in in the wilds of the Burren!
GPS: 53.04089, -9.13957