Enniscrone Archaeology


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Ringforts

Ringforts

Ringforts

There are many ringforts located in the immediate vicinity of Enniscrone. Most ringforts are thought to date from between 500 to 1000 AD but some may be from as early as 500 BC, although little is known about the history of individual sites.

A ringfort is basically a circular earthen bank, thrown up from a surrounding ditch, and probably topped by some sort of fencing or stockade. Small ringforts, such as the one out the road to Sligo in Trotts, may have been an enclosed farmstead, used for the protection of livestock from predators such as wolves or possibly cattle rustlers. Generally ringfort range in size from about 15 metres to over 60 metres diameter, and while the larger ones may have enclosed early settlements some of the smaller ones are thought to have been for holding animals only, away from habitation.

There are large ringforts in the area, as behind the fire station and out opposite the graveyard. The inhabitants of such large settlements might have carried out trades such as milling, weaving, leatherwork and metalwork. The ringfort behind the fire station is interesting in that there are a number of large stones placed around the base of its embankment, particularly given its proximity to the remains of the two megalithic tombs. It would have been usual practice to use materials convenient to build the banks of the ringfort. There is visual evidence that the ringfort out opposite the graveyard may have been built mainly of stone, perhaps because of its availability or because it was considered a defensive necessity.

Earthen ringforts are often known as Raths, Fort or Lios. Stone forts are called Caher, Cashel, Dun or Doon; prefixes common in many of today's place names.

Other ringforts located in Enniscrone, include the multi-ringed fort behind Dun na Si; another directly behind the Enterprise Offices: and a large one behind the church. Most impressive is the large promontory fort beyond the end of Carrowhubbock Rd.. There are many other ringforts and archaeological sites visible on all approach roads to Enniscrone.

Most ringforts are located on private property - DO NOT TRESPASS

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