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CIIC 201. Coolmagort V, Co. Kerry

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© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-22

National Monuments Service Record Number: KE065-078006-

Site Type




This souterrain (KE065-078----), marked ‘Cave’ on the OS maps, was discovered in 1838 by workmen building a field boundary across a slight rise in Dunloe Castle demesne, a short distance W of the River Loe. A total of seven ogham stones were incorporated into its structure. Atkinson and Romilly Allen visited it individually several decades later, and recorded that the accessible section of its passage was c. 5.7m in overall length and averaged l.3m in height (1866, 523-4; 1892, 166-70). Access was gained through an opening at S, where the passage was 7 feet (2.15m) wide. From here it curved to NE, decreasing in width to 3 feet 3 inches (1m). The walls were of drystone construction and inclined slightly to reduce the passage width at roof level. It was roofed by nine slabs, six of which bore ogham inscriptions. One of the larger ogham stones had cracked in antiquity and was supported by a seventh, which stood upright in the souterrain passage. A number of bones and skulls, some of which were reputedly human, were found in the souterrain. In 1940 the ogham stones were removed from the site by the OPW, and were erected close to a public roadway nearby. The souterrain was subsequently filled back and no surface trace remains (Extract from ASI database, www.archaeology.ie).


Close-grained shale (Macalister 1945, 193), 1.30m x 0.45m x 0.10m (O'Sullivan et al 1996, no. 863 (4)). This was the 'fifth lintel, but before being placed in the cave ithad suffered serious injury' (Macalister 1945, 193).


On two angles, possibly up-top-down. 'A slab, 3/4 ins. thick, had been split from all but a few inches of the bottom of the inscribed face, carrying away all the vowels and all scores on the B-surface. In consequence, nothing was left of the inscription... but the distal ends of the scores on the H-surface' Macalister (1945, 193-4). Although Gippert was unable to asertain the scores on the top and on the sinister angle as read by Macalister, these 'distal ends' are discernable on the 3d model. Macalister's suggested reading of the fragmentary remains seems plausible, although his suggestion of the use of the X forfid twice (with its vocalic value E) seems unlikely as less space between the distal ends would be expected.


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along with six other ogham stones in a souterrain known as 'the cave of Dunloe' in the townland of Coolmagort and barony of Dunkerron North (GPS coordinates -9.633466, 52.060741).



Last Recorded

In a small modern enclosure (together with CIIC 241 Kilbonane) near the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe, close to where originally found. The present location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (GPS coordinates -9.634923, 52.06042)

History of Recording

discovered in 1838 by workmen building a field boundary. Gippert: The site was first visited by `Mr. Abell, of Cork' who `on that occasion took copies of such of the inscriptions as were then accessible'. After that, it was inspected by J. Windele `and a party of antiquaries from Cork'; Brash saw the spot in the autumn of 1869.


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