Inland cliff-top hillfort
128190 196496
This work was carried out at Cahercommaun Fort, Tullycommon, Co. Clare, by the author for Dr Ann Lynch on behalf of the National Monuments and Architectural Protection Division between 7 and 23 April 2003. The project involved the removal by hand of stone collapse lying south of the outer enclosure wall to enable repair works to be carried out on the breaches in the wall in advance of construction of a proposed boardwalk. The work was confined to six specific areas, as defined by Dr Lynch in the contract specifications.
Cahercommaun is an inland cliff-top fort in state ownership. It comprises a roughly circular stone enclosure perched on a cliff edge with two concentric outer enclosing walls. A well-defined passageway gives access through the outer enclosure to the centre enclosure on the eastern side of the fort, and traces of radial walls and other ephemeral features can be seen between the enclosing walls and in the surrounding fields.
Access to the site is granted by a well-defined track from the road to the field boundary to the east of the fort. It was proposed to mark a preferred route from this field boundary across the limestone pavement to the outer enclosure wall and then provide access via a wooden boardwalk, which will skirt the wall to the entrance passageway. It is proposed that visitors will be allowed to view the interior of the inner enclosure from a timber platform that will straddle the enclosure wall.
Six cuttings concentrating on areas of rubble collapse were manually cleared of overgrowth and recorded. The stone collapse was half sectioned, where possible, and finally removed to designated spoil areas, exposing the original surface level. All the stone collapse corresponded to areas where the outer enclosure wall had been breached or degraded.
The materials removed from most of the trenches were directly associated with breaches in the wall or areas of obvious collapse. The only feature of note was exposed to the east of Cutting 1. This feature, possibly a hut site or an animal pen, abutted a field wall to the south and seemed to arc in a U shape, returning towards the outer enclosure wall.
Billy Quinn, Moore Archaeological & Environmental Services Ltd, Corporate House, Ballybrit Business Park, Ballybrit, Galway.

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