The Burren ( ,
Boirinn is the modern form used by the Ordnance Survey) is a karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland.
It is one of the largest karst landscapes
in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square
kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle made by the
villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna. It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north, respectively.
A small portion of the Burren has been designated as Burren
National Park. It is one of only six national parks in the Republic of
Ireland and the smallest in size (15 km²).
The definite article (making it "the
Burren") has only
been added to the name in the last few decades, possibly by
academics, as it had always been called Boireann
Burren is rich with historical and archaeological sites. There are
more than 90 megalithic tombs in the area, portal dolmens
(including Poulnabrone Dolmen), a celtic high cross in the village
of Kilfenora, and a number of ring forts - among them the triple
ring fort Cahercommaun on the edge of an inland cliff, and the
exceptionally well-preserved Caherconnell Stone Fort. Corcomroe
Abbey is one of the area's main scenic attractions.
Geography and scenery
During counter-guerilla operations in Burren in 1651-52, Edmund Ludlow
stated, "(Burren) is a
country where there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough
to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him...... and yet their
cattle are very fat; for the grass growing in turfs of earth, of
two or three foot square, that lie between the rocks, which are of
limestone, is very sweet and nourishing.
The rolling hills of Burren are composed of limestone
pavements with crisscrossing cracks
known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints".
supports arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side,
due to the unusual environment.
The blue flower of the
, an alpine plant, is
used as a symbol for the area by the tourist board. Burren's many
limestone cliffs, particularly the sea-cliffs at Ailladie, are popular with rock-climbers.
, there are a number of charted caves in the
area. Doolin is a popular
"base camp" for cavers, and is home to one of the two main
cave-rescue stores of the Irish Cave Rescue
Burren has a long history of traditional Irish music. It is particularly
known for the "West Clare Style" of concertina playing and the music festival in
Image:Flowers in the burren.jpg|Native Flowers and Rock
FormationsImage:Megalithic Passage Tomb.jpg|Poulnabrone portal
tombImage:The Burren.jpg|The Burren
- McCarthy, P.M. and Mitchell, M.E. 1988. Lichens of the
Burren Hills and the Aran Islands. Galway. Officina
- BBC: The Flowers of the Burren, County Clare,
- A similar quote "The Burren 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 one part to bury him." can be found in
"The Journal of Thomas Dineley",
1681, in the National Library of Ireland. Extracts from his
journal, including his account of the Clare section of his journey,
were published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries,
6 (1867). These appear in an online in "The History and Topography
of the County of Clare" by James Frost Part II. History of Thomond
Chapter 28 Barony of Burren
- Anon. The Burren: A Guide. Shannonside Mid Western
Regional Tourism Organization Ltd., 62, O'Connell St.,
- E. C. Nelson. Checklist of Plants of The Burren
- D.A. Webb & M.J.P. Scannell. Flora of Connemara and The
- T. J. Westropp. Archaeology of The Burren.
- D’Arcy & Hayward. The Natural History of The
- E.C. Nelson & W. Walsh. The Burren Wildflowers,
Conservancy of The Burren, An Bothan, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare.