The Burren in detail

History

Despite its apparent harshness, the Burren supported quite large numbers of people in ancient times, and has more than 2500 historic sites. Chief among them is the 5000-year-old Poulnabrone Dolmen, part of a Neolithic/Bronze Age tomb, and one of Ireland's iconic ancient monuments.

Around 70 prehistoric tombs are in evidence today. Many are wedge-shaped graves, stone boxes tapering both in height and width, and about the size of a large double bed. The dead were placed inside, and the whole structure covered in earth and stones. Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb, 7km south of Ballyvaughan, is a prime example.

Ring forts are strewn throughout the Burren. There are almost 500, including Iron Age stone forts such as Cahercommaun near Carron.