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


Promontory Fort


The third [fort in the area] is much defaced but of greater note. It is called Doonmeeve on the maps, but Doonmihil and Dooneeva, locally. There are two segments of curved fosses coming out at a slope near the shore; they are cut through drift, and when a block of shale was met with it was neatly cut to the slope of the bank. the inner is dry, but a water runnel courses down the outer one. They are 6' to 10' deep and wide at the bottom in parts, the inner 28', and the outer 20' wide at the top. The bank between these is 22' wide at the top. It probably enclosed a space on the cliffs, and could hardly be a promontory fort whose promontory was washed away by the unresting sea. Bronze implements have been found on the shore at the foot of the cliff which bounds its enclosure.

A very curious tradition as told us in the neighbourhood. A certain man, in not very remote past years, began to dig up the space inside its trenches, before he had been long at work he fell down and lay to all appearance dead. News was brought at once to his wife a reputed "wise woman," who was evidently equal to the emergency. She rushed to the nearest fairy spot, did magic, and ran to Dooneva to her apparently lifeless husband. She then addressed herself to the unseen inhabitants of the fort and imperiously ordered them to bring back her husband at once. Rapidly as the deceased brother of the unvirtuous de Birchington, of Ingoldsby, the insensible man sat up and recovered complete strength, while a stick was carried off in his stead. After all the story in its facts, apart from their deductions, may very well have happened, and even the charms may have been done in as good faith as many others worked to our personal knowledge.
In Thomas Johnson Westropp's Ancient Remains Near Lehinch, Co. Clare, online at Limerick City Library.

There's a rather amusing photo of the author posing amidst ancient stones (and clutching his umbrella in a prepared fashion) on Wikipedia.

I wonder if the 'stick carried off in his stead' alludes to when the fairies replace healthy babies with a 'stock', a lump of wood disguised to look and act like a sickly baby.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
13th March 2013ce
Edited 14th March 2013ce

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