The Burren uplands, described in 1681 by Thomas Dineley with the famous words “this Barony affordeth not a piece of timber sufficient to hang a man, water in any one place to drown a man, or earth enough in any part to bury him”, play host to what is arguably the richest archaeological landscape in western Europe.
The hills are crowned with dozens of prehistoric tombs and its high plateaus are carpeted with a palimpsest of archaeological sites and monuments including the densest concentration of Megalithic Tombs in Western Europe. These monuments come complete with an intact surrounding Prehistoric landscape overlapping fields, walls, house sites and trackways. Many of the prominent ridges are crowned with spectacular Late Bronze Age and Early Christian-era forts and the dry lowland valleys have an array of beautifully located Early monastic sites, some with associated Holy Wells.
In the Medieval period the Burren was a Gaelic stronghold and some magnificent examples of Gaelic Castles survive, commanding the approaches to this beautiful region. Recent research has revealed that the bare, orchid-rich limestone hills that the Burren was famous for have been clothed in woodland at various times over the last 6,000 years. The many caves that dot the landscape are beginning to be explored by archaeologists for the very first time.
Beneath the rich coastal waters along the northern and western coasts, a drowned archaeological landscape can be seen along the shore and in the intertidal zone, here will also find the famous Cliffs of Moher.