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The buildings from this time are as impressive, and in their own way equal to those of NEOLITHIC times. It is in the methods of their CONSTRUCTION, i.e. DRY STONE WALLING, which links them to the NEOLITHIC. DOLMENS, MOUNDS, CAIRNS and MONOLITHS give way to FORTS, which were BUILT / CONSTRUCTED as places of PROTECTION, and / or CEREMONY.

Důn an Ňir, ( the fort of metal / gold ) Promontory Fort is one of these STRUCTURES. It was built on a PROMONTORY in Smerick Harbour, i.e.. North of Ballyferriter, in Co. Kerry. This piece of land is surrounded on all sides by the sea, except for an  extremely narrow walk way connecting it to the mainland. This was defended, with the construction of 5 to 6 DEFENSIVE DITCHES, surrounding the narrow path, and these DITCHES were built right up to the cliff face. The FORT itself would originally have consisted of a DRY STONE WALLING, built around the edges of the CLIFF FACE of the PROMONTORY, as an extra LINE of defence. This wall no longer exists, and many of the DITCHES are only just visible. There is a gap in the inner DITCH, which has appeared over the centuries, but this gives us an idea today of how it must have looked to an attacker trying to enter / attack the FORT. These DITCHES would have been daunting to get across, especially as any one within the fort would have know that you were there, and would have had no trouble dealing with you, while you were trying to climb up any one of these 10 / 12 ft. ditches. One would then have to descend to the same depth, while carrying a sword, shield and probably a spear, ALL at the same time. This endeavour would have had to be REPEATED 5 / 6 times, and you still had to face a DEFENDED STONE wall UP to 30ft./ 10-11mts. high, with a single entrance.

Having cleared the DITCHES, you have to run like CRAZY at the FORT. There is about an ACRE / .5ha. of clear ground to get across, without  COVER or protection. NOTHING to HIDE behind, and an army of DEFENDERS secure behind a STONE wall, with all the time in the world to pick you off. You are now beginning to make out the PROMONTORY itself, with its sides dropping to the sea shore many feet below. The land / ground which made up the interior of the fort becomes visible, and you can see that it is relatively flat. This made it ideal as a protected living space / area, especially when the Dry Stone Walling was in place. Now you begin to see just what kind of DEFENCES this FORT had, i.e. Sheer cliff faces on ALL four sides, and a narrow WALK way over which you HAD / HAVE to CROSS. This PROMONTORY / WALK way does not look very impressive from this side view. Compare the relative size of the two people visible on the PROMONTORY to that of the CLIFF FACE. Now you can see why this FORT was never taken by an attacker, up until the use of the CANNON, (and that's another story ). Also, a SOUTARRÁN ( an UNDERGROUND PASSAGE ) linked this fort to another one built approx. half a mile away, meaning that not many of this FORTS inhabitants had to die in its DEFENCE . To the RIGHT and BEHIND is the CLIFF face on the MAINLAND. If you ever visit the DINGLE PENINSULA, do have a look at this site and take My advice, DO NOT LOOK DOWN, ( " VERTIGO " inducing ) when crossing.

T.Gall.PUB.C.21st.©