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ble. Another, and a finer specimen, gives name to Knockadoo, about five miles westward, and within this parish; it is about the same height as the last, but its fosse has been preserved very perfect, and is at present hedged on the outer bank. On its top, large stones, that seem to have been once circularly set, are now imbedded; the view of the surrounding country hence is very extensive, and two other similar mounds(a) are thence distinguishable at the south-east. On Knockadoo, a little below the mount, are traces of a large fort; while on another hill, immediately southward, is a distinct and noble fort, called Lis-na-draoi, i e., “ the fortified place of the

i. Magi, or Druids.” It is upwards of 100 feet in the diameter of its summit, and, by remains yet very

discernible, is shewn to have had two fosses, the inner being about fourteen feet in width, the outer about 11. There are other forts in this section of the parish, threeon Derrymaquirk, two on Lecarrow, one on Knockavroe, one on Letford's Park, two in Erris, &c.

On the portion of the parish north of the river are three forts, on the lands of Drumdoe; and here, close to the river, are situated the ruins of the church of Isselyn, the original parochial place of worship, before Boyle had risen toimportance under the patronage of its noble proprietors. The road from Boyle to Isselyn points to Lough Gara, following up the course of the

(a) See of those Mounts, “History of the County of Dublin,"

p. 332, &c.

river, from which it is in no instance far removed, although the water is frequently concealed by the inequalities of the surface. Some parts of this way are very steep, and there are considerable descents, as well as ascents, but the rise is, on the whole, towards the lake which lies much above Boyle; and the inequalities may be considered as the off-sets from the Curlew mountains, near the base of which the road runs. From the ascents very extensive prospects open, across the river, and towards the plains of Boyle; the town itself standing in the valley, with the river winding towards it; the church, surrounded by the old trees of the park, and the full feathering of new plantations, present a very favourable aspect. The old church of Isselyn stands on a knoll, terminating abruptly at the river; and from the massiveness of the walls, of large hewn stone, two feet and an half in thickness—their height, in detached fragments, about 20 feet—the extent of the area, the choir measuring 16 yards by 8, and the aisle about 25 by 8—it might be supposed to have been once a pile of architectural extent and beauty; but, while all the casings of windows and doors have been carried away, the style of the buildings appears even otherwise of an unassuming class. A large burial ground, still much preferred for the Roman Catholic population of Boyle, surrounds this ruined church, and many headstones and horizontal monuments record Mac Manuses, Mac Gowrans, and, above all, Mac Dermotts, as still claiming some proprietorship in

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the soil. There are no memorials, however, worthy of any especial notice. The oldest is within the ruins, and commemorates a Mr. James Johnston, who died in 1702.–At the foot of the knoll, occupied by these remains, is a quarry vein, which, when burned with a strong heat, affords excellent gypsum for cement, but English competition precludes its introduction into market in any way that could remunerate for the manufacture and carriage. The river here rushes over the rocks with considerable velocity, and at one place forms a small cascade ; various mill-sites might be had hereabout, and the abundance and regularity of the supply of water obtainable from the lake, and the considerable falls, would amply maintain their operation.

An old, and now disused road, leads from Isselyn to the banks of that estuary, by which the superfluous waters of Lough Gara escape into the river of Boyle; off this at left, about half a mile from Isselyn, is a fort measuring 35 yards in diameter, and having its fosse still tolerably perfect. Beyond this, near Tinecarra, a bridle-road at right leads to the townland of Ballynamultagh, where is an immense crom

the incumbent stone, which is inclined westward, at an angle of about 45 degrees, is 15 feet in length by 11 in breadth; its greatest thickness is two feet and a half, its average eighteen inches. The head leans on three large boulders, over which it projects in a manner, that forms a species of what antiquarians term a Brehon chair, its foot being a little

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lech;

[blocks in formation]

raised by a smaller rock. The generality of the cromlechs that survive in Ireland, like this, exhibit now no circle of erect stones; but such are often found, as if they were the outwork of the temple, and the channels or furrows, still traceable on most of the incumbent stones, make it probable that sacrifices, as of oxen, &c., might be offered upon them; but, whatever were the victims, the altar is itself thoroughly eastern and primitive. Such an altar “Noah builded unto the Lord;" —such an altar the Deity commanded, “If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone, for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” The black mould and ashes, commonly dug up about these cromlechs, confirm the idea of their use as fire temples in the open air; nor should the circumstance of bones having been found under some few of them, as they are also found at the base of these enclosed fire temples, the round towers, militate against this conclusion, or induce a belief, that cromlechs were originally designed as mere funeral memorials. Such bones might have been those of the animals sacrificed, or, even if human, the rareness of the occurrence only illustrates the opinion, that the desire of being buried near places of worship, so prevalent in later ages, was even then partially acknowledged. The largest cromlech in Ireland is supposed to be that in the parish of Fiddown, County Kilkenny, described in the 16th Volume of the “ Archæologia.” It stands on one of the Walch Mountains, in the County Kilkenny,

over the River Suir, between Carrick and Waterford, exhibiting a mass of most ponderous rock, not only raised but supported with geometrical accuracy, by an application of the doctrine of mechanic pressure truly surprising. Another at Ballymacscanlan, near Dundalk, gives similar evidence, that very powerful machinery must have been employed for its construction. How else, it has been asked, could those majestic rocks have been hewed from the bowels of the earth, transported over hills and valleys, and poised on such uniform inclinations. There is also a fine one at Brennanstown, near Dublin; a larger at Labacally, in the County Cork; and the neighbourhood of Baltinglas (which seems to derive its name“ Beal-tinne-glas” from the rites of fire worship), and the Isles of Aran, abound with such remains. King shews that cromlechs, similar to the Irish, exist in Syria; and Armstrong, in his history of the very ancient people of Minorca, mentions several still to be found there, adding, that they are commonly called “altars of the Gentiles.”

At a short distance to the north of this, on the east side of the memorable pass of Boherboy, a solitary, upright stone, commonly styled “the Governor's monument,” is all that now remains of a large pile, which, according to an erroneous but popular opinion, is said to have marked the grave of Sir Conyers Clifford, who fell in the battle of the Curlews, as hereafter especially noticed in the historical section of this work; but the monument must with more

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