Castles in the Burren
The Burren was heavily populated during medieval times; we can see this from the amount of buildings remaining. Of course, handy stone for building was never hard to get in this rocky landscape. The Burren has one of the densest concentrations of tower houses, a type of fortified dwelling that begins to appear around 1400.
There are hundreds of tower houses scattered all about County Clare, but they are thickly clustered in the Burren. A number have been refurbished and are being used as family dwellings.
Tower houses were the homes of Gaelic or Norman chieftans, and were usually found at the center of a complex farmed network, and often close to ringforts and cashels. Several examples are open to the public, such as the fine example at Dysert O'Dea, which is well worth a visit, and has some fine ruins close by.
Leiminagh castle dates from a slightly later period, but is still surrounded by a network of farm walls and buildings.