Clare Island - Lecarrow - Fulacht
List of Sites
The Lecarrow group consists of seventeen and one probable fulachta fiadh situated in the eastern part of the townland of Lecarrow (Gosling, 1993). They are mounds consisting of burnt stones, mixed with black soil and charcoal found along streams, spring wells, in small peat basins and in places where the water table is close to ground level (Buckley, 1990, Lawless, 1996). Recent experiments have shown that large quantities of water could be brought to the boil in a trough using stones that were heated until red hot in a fire to cook large quantities of meat (Brindley, 1990, Lawless, 1995). After a number of burnings the collection of discarded shattered stones would form kidney-shaped mounds which are the turf covered mounds we see today. The exact function of fulachta fiadh is unknown but whether the correct interpretation is a place for cooking or indeed a place to bathe remains an important feature of research (Barfield, 1991).
Indeed, many more uses have been put forward including textile processing, leather working and brewing (Ó Drisceoil, 1988). According to some local traditions they were used by Vikings to brew beer from heather (Corlett, 2000). Fulachta Fiadh have yielded very few artefacts (Cherry, 1990). Radiocarbon dates from a number of sites in Britain and Ireland fall generally in the middle Bronze Age (Brindley, 1990). However their use up to medieval times is explained by the discovery of rotary querns in the body of some fulachta fiadh (Morahan, 2001).
Clew Bay Archaeological Trail
- Barfield, L.H. 1991, Hot Stones: Hot Food or Hot Baths? in Burnt Mounds Hot Stone Technology, papers from the second international Burnt Mound Conference Sandwell, 12th-14th October, 1990, Pp. 59-65
- Brindley, A.L. 1990, Radiocarbon Dates from Irish Fulachta Fiadh and other Burnt Mounds, The Journal of Irish Archaeology, Vol. V Pp. 25, 30, 32
- Buckley, V.M. 1990, Experiments using a reconstructed fulacht with a variety of rock types: implications for the petromorphology of fulachta fiadh, in Burnt Offerings, International Contributions to Burnt Mound Archaeology, Dublin, Pp.170-72
- Cherry, S. 1990, The Finds from Fulachta Fiadh, in Buckley V.M. (ed) 1990, Burnt Offerings, International Contributions to Burnt Mound Archaeology, Dublin, p.49
- Corlett, C. 2001 Antiquities of West Mayo, Wordwell, Wicklow, Pp.25-26
- Gosling, P. 1993, Preliminary report on the Fulachta Fiadh of Clare Island, Co. Mayo, in the New Clare Island Survey 1991-1995, Royal Irish Academy, Pp. 9, 28-40
- Lawless, C. 1996, Levallinree Townland and Lough, An Ancient Citadel: Fulachta Fiadh; Dugout Canoes; Ringforts; Hutsites; St Patrick's Stone; Mill and Mill-Race; and famine Gardens, Cathair Na Mart, No.16, Westport, Pp.22-23
- Lawless, C. Barton, K. Monaghan, D. 1995, Primary Observations of a modern Working Fulachta Fiadh and a Geophysical Survey Of the Modern and Ancient Fulacht Fiadh, Lack East/West, Turlough, Co. Mayo, Cathair Na Mart, No.15, Westport, Pp.48-50
- Morahan, L. 2001 Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo archaeology, landscape and people, Croagh Patrick Archaeological Committee, Mayo, p. 50
- Ó Drisceoil, D.A. 1988, Burnt Mounds: cooking or bathing?, Antiquity, Vol. 62, Pp. 671-80
Mayo Sites and Artefacts
1. Mayo Abbey
Mayo - Vestvågøy - Mid-Argyll
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