The Burren is one of the best preserved archaeological heritage sites in Europe.
There are manmade monuments left over from every era since the Neolithic period. Archaeologists can follow six thousand years of cultural evolution by studying items seen in the area,
Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of the most famous historic monuments at The Burren. It is a stone tomb between 2000-2500 years old.
There are also several cooking sites from the Bronze Age, wedge tombs from the Neolithic age, medieval towers and early Christian worship sites.
You can also see the remains of stone walls and goat huts which give an insight into how people worked and lived thousands of years ago.
Other sites of historical interest include Lemenagh Castle and Caherconnell Stone Fort which is 145 feet in diameter and is thought to be 800-1,600 years old.
Burren National Park – unique natural landscapes
The southeast of the Burren has been designated as The Burren National Park and is one of only six national parks in Ireland.
The park contains examples of all the various habitats that make the Burren unique such as limestone rock, springs, native Irish woodland, grassland, scrubland, lakes and cliffs.
You will also find turloughs, which are a kind of disappearing lake unique to Ireland. The word ‘turlough’ comes from the Irish meaning ‘dry place’. Turloughs usually dry up in the summer but then fill with water to form a lake in the autumn.
The turloughs in the Burren are particularly unusual because they can fill up in a matter of a few hours after heavy rainfall and then disappear a few days afterwards as the water disappears through the limestone rock.
The Park was bought by the Irish Government in order to preserve it and keep it available to the public.
The Burren Centre
The Burren Centre is in the town of Kilfenora and is a good place to get information about the attractions and significance of the area.
You can have a ‘walk through time’ that takes you back to the tropical sea where the rock was formed, through to when the ancient stone monuments were being erected.
Other areas of interest
While you are at The Burren you might also like to visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Ailwee caves, bird of prey centre and perfumery. The twin attractions of the ancient monuments and the diverse scenery with plants from across the world make the Burren a popular destination with holidaymakers in Ireland. Tourists and students also come from as far away as the United States, Australia, Asia, the UK and Europe.