Cahercommaun (Irish: Cathair Chomáin) is a triple stone ringfort on the south-east edge of the The Burren area, in Kilnaboy which is near the rural village Carran, in County Clare, Ireland. (grid ref: 283 965) It was built about 800 AD.
Cahercommaun sits on the edge of an inland cliff facing north overlooking a wooded valley, with three concentric walls reaching to the cliff edge. The inner wall alone used 16,500 tons of stone. The outer wall measures some 350ft east-west by 245ft north-south. The inner wall is about 5ft thick and 4ft high and rises 12 to 14 feet above the cliff. The innermost wall, which is the thickest, forms an almost complete circle, but the two outer walls (connected with each other by subsidiary walls, like a fan) only form a semicircle. The innermost wall contains three chambers within the wall.
In 1934 it was excavated by the Third Harvard Archaeological Expedition, led by Hugh O’Neill Hencken, which found that the roughly circular enclosure contained at least twelve stone buildings at various times, some of which had souterrains. The archaeologists concluded that Cahercommaun would have been home to a group of at least 40 people, and among the artefacts discovered were wooden spindles used in weaving. A silver brooch found in one of the souterrains indicates that the site was already in existence by the 9th century AD. The brooch is in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. As well as the brooch, a padlock was found.
The excavation uncovered one of the most important Iron Age collections found in Ireland. From the collection, a set of sheep shears and a saddle quern are on loan to Clare Museum from the Irish Antiquities Division of the National Museum of Ireland. Evidence was found of settlement dating back to the 5th century and 6th century, although the fort was built during the 9th century. The saddle quern dates from the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period.
- http://www.logainm.ie/104049.aspx Placenames Database of Ireland]
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- Excavations.ie - 2003 Excavations at Cahercommaun
- Clare Museum - List of other finds at Caghercommaun