The Burren Facts & History – Explore a Burren Ring Fort With A Difference
‘After two days’ march we entered into the Barony of Burren, of which it is said, that it is a country where there is not water enough to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him; which last is so scarce, that the inhabitants steal it from one another, and yet their cattle are very fat; for the grass growing in tufts of earth, of two or three foot square, that lie between the rocks, which are of limestone, is very sweet and nourishing’.
Edmund Ludlow, 1651
Ludlow’s description of the bleak landscape is a powerful image of a land which was bare but held within it, a unique nourishment.
Today, the Burren land is still farmed successfully and the secrets of its nourishment have been revealed.
The Burren – Ireland’s Most Historic Region
The long history of this part of Ireland is evidenced by the number of monuments which can be seen here. The question of why the Burren has such a profusion of monuments has no simple answer but time has revealed a number of reasons.
Firstly, as most monuments in the area are stone-built, they tend to endure longer than monuments of earth or wood.
Secondly, the Burren uplands have not been subject to the same social and economic forces as many lowlands where reclamation and improvement schemes have seen many ancient monuments lost.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the winter grazing for livestock provided by the Burren´s winterages may have made the region attractive to agricultural communities since prehistoric times.
Today the Burren is a haven for archaeologists, geologists, botanists and tourists alike. This place is home to a complicated cultural tapestry, one which we are very proud of.