The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




From that spa-town [Lisdoonvarna] we go eastward, crossing the river valley, and seeing on a bold bluff a lofty mound - a reputed "fairy hill."

Lissateeaun, Lis an tsidhean, the fairy fort, lies in a townland called Gowlaun, from the "fork" (Gabhal) of the stream. It is a mote-like mound, shaped out of the natural bluff, but raised and rounded so as to form a high flat-topped platform sufficiently imposing as seen from the road bridge to the east. A shallow fosse runs round it on the side of the plateau in a semicircle. There are no other mounds or hut sites, nor is it easy to fix its actual height, as it runs into the natural slopes. The summit lies about 400 feet above the sea.

Its resemblance to a burial mound may have helped its reputation as a sidh, but it very probably was, if not in origin, at least in use, a true lis or residential fort, as its name implies. Sidhean in Co. Clare living usage, by the way, implies rather a passing gust or whirl of wind in which the fairies travel. It is a prophylactic usage to bow or take off your hat as the gust reaches you.

The fort is reputed to give its name to the Castle of Lisdoonvarna, "the fortified fort of the gap." The gap is the river gully, and the levelled ring wall at the head of the slope to the north is Caherbarna.
From Thomas Johnson Westropp''s article on the Burren in Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland v 5 (sixth series) 1915.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd March 2013ce

Comments (1)

"the fortified fort" - I like that. Bit like Castell Dinas. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
3rd March 2013ce
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