1Ginsberg, Robert. The Aesthetics of Ruins. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004. 107.

2Cahergal and Leacanabuaile 15 June 2001. Information sign at The Old Barracks Heritage Centre. Caherciveen.
A similar Cahergal legend told of "...an underground passage, supposed to lead through the mountains to Cloc-na-Natin (The Temple of Fire)." (Bean, Kathleen. "Cahergall." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 2 (1912-1914): 155-57.)
According to NUI-Galway archaeologist Michelle Comber, "Most have only one exit/entrance, i.e. are 'dead-ends', not leading anywhere. Some do have an exit, e.g. the souterrain at Leacanabuaile cashel...leads from inside one of its internal houses under the cashel and exits through a hole at the rear of the cashel wall, providing a possible escape route. Souterrains do not, however, run for great lengths, and never connect one monument with another – despite this being a favourite local tale in most parts of Ireland!" (Comber, Michelle. "Souterrains." Message to the author. 14 Feb. 2012. E-mail.)

3"Cahergal and Leacanabuaile Forts." - Strollingguides, Information & Photographs. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://www.strollingguides.co.uk/books/kerry/places/cahergal.php>.
While most archaeologists today would date the stone ringforts of Southwestern Ireland to the Early Historical period, others would place them earlier, in the later Iron Age. The sign at the Cahergal site indicates, " It is likely that somebody of importance lived here abut 1,000 years ago."

4Lecky, John, and M.J.D. "Notes on Some Kerry Antiquities: Cahergal and Other Fort." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 3.13 (1914): 49-54.
This article states, "Inside the fort are remains of two buildings; at the north side a rectangular building, and in the middle a bee-hive cell. Both are much ruined, and the masonry very much more rough and inferior to that of the fort..."
The focus on Cahergal and Leacanabuaile may be circumstantial, as these types of forts are the most likely to survive. as one author noted, "Elsewhere, as we know from both written and archaeological records, houses were normally of timber or clay, or of both combined. In other words, houses, as we might expect, were built of whatever suitable material came most readily to hand. Unfortunately timber and clay houses seldom leave clearly intelligible traces for the excavator. Hence the accidental prominence achieved by sites like Leacanabuaile..." (Duignan, Michael. "Irish Agriculture in Early Historic Times." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 14.3 (1944): 132-34.)
A partial excavation in 1991concluded, "Very few artefacts were recovered and none that are datable. There was little evidence for activity on the site prior to the construction of the clochán with only a couple of small features clearly predating it." ("Kerry 1991:070 'Cahergal', Kimego West, Stone fort" Excavations.ie. Searchable Database of Irish Excavation Reports. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://www.excavations.ie/Pages/Details.php?Year=&County=Kerry&id=3234>.)

5Croker, Thomas Crofton, and Sigerson Clifford. Legends of Kerry. Tralee, Ireland: Geraldine, 1972. 21-22.

6Bean, Kathleen. "Cahergall." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 2 (1912-1914): 155-57.

7Cahergal and Leacanabuaile 15 June 2001. Information sign at The Old Barracks Heritage Centre. Caherciveen. The direct translation is taken from the sign at the site of the monument. The sign in the Heritage Centre defines the word buaile as "milking ground" and "booleying" as the movement of cows to higher pastures for grazing during the warmer months of the summer. The sign further suggests that Leacanabuaile may have been a habitation site used only in the summer months. However it may also be that the name, with its reference to "booleying" reflects the fort's usage as a cattle pen centuries after its principal occupation.

8O Riordain, S.P., and J.B. Foy. "The Excavation of Leacanabuaile Stone Fort, near Caherciveen, Co. Kerry." Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 46 (1941): 92-97. The article concludes, "The finds from Leacanabuaile are comparatively poor in number and character and are, further, such as give no good chronological data on which the occupation of the fort might be dated. Most are types that have a long archaeological history in this country. The general nature of the finds and particularly the evidence of the bronze ring·headed pin suggests a date in the Early Christian Period. The large flat quern...might be used as an argument for a late date but that such querns were used early in the Christian Period in this country is shown by the finding of one in the large fort at Garranes, Co. Cork the occupation of which is dated to about 500 A.D. The close dating of the Leacanabuaile site is not possible, but it may be noted that the finds correspond to material from sites dated by more significant objects to the ninth and tenth centuries A.D. The poverty of the finds suggests the poverty of the inhabitants."

9O Riordain.
From the report, "While the site could, before excavation, be recognised as a stone fort there was little to indicate the nature of the structures subsequently discovered. The walls had fallen and the whole structure was covered with a light earthen sod. The inner wall-face of the enclosing wall was discernible in two places only, and only a few feet showed there." The excavator also noted, regarding the rectangular house in the center of the fort, "This present stage of the dwelling is not original, for earlier there had been no rectangular house, but only three separate clochans, two of which have been removed to make way for the more commodious and convenient rectangular structure."

10O Riordain.
One visitor reports that, "The original entrance to this souterrain is tiny and a new entrance has been created into the wall-chamber. The gate to this is unlocked, but very stiff. A headlamp would be needed to investigate the passage as no light gets in there. One of the slabs in the wall of the souterrain has carvings on it." ("Kimego West Stone Fort, County Kerry (Leacanabuaile)." Megalithomania. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <http://megalithomania.com/show/site/2120/leacanabuaile_stone_fort.htm>.)

11Chatterton, Georgiana. Rambles in the South of Ireland during the Year 1838. London: Saunders and Otley, 1839. 301-07.
This book may be read in its entirety here.

12Duignan, Michael. "Irish Agriculture in Early Historic Times." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 14.3 (1944): 132-34.

13S.M. "Ballycarbery Castle." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 3.16 (1916): 243-59.
The documented dates of the fall of other castles in the area led the author to date the fall of Ballycarbery to a date before June of 1652. The author adds, "Tradition states that the forces of the Lord Protector battered it with guns from the tide way which flows up to a short distance below it. We are informed that some antiquarians who visited the castle expressed an opinion that the besiegers, after capturing it, must have blown it up from the inside, as was done in the case of Dunboy Castle in 1602. The present writer remembers having, in the days of his youth, seen large blocks of ruined masonry lying about on the southern and eastern sides of the castle, and this would seem to bear out the above opinion."
In a 1597 letter to Queen Elizabeth, she was warned that "...her Majesty ought to have great regard on whom she hestoweth the Castle of Ballycarbrye and the haven of Bealynche [Valencia], which is a very large and fair haven, and in a remote place, dangerous to be in any man's hands that shall favor any common enemy."


Another legend of Ballycarbery Castle describes the rivalry between two O'Connell brothers living in the castle, each of who wish to host the visiting MacCarthy Mór. Since both brothers could not agree which of them would have the honor of hosting the visiting lord, MacCarthy Mór decided that his party would dine with whichever brother had the feast prepared first. "That very night the elder brother, with a view to cutting off from his brother upstairs all supplies of fuel and water, ordered that all doors and passages leading to the upper floor should be locked, and also set a guard to prevent their being opened. This the younger brother coming to know, had no alternative but to have his pots and pans filled with Spanish wine, wherein all his meat was boiled over as many fires of liquorish as were requisite. In this way he succeeded in having dinner ready much earlier than the elder brothel', and having the honour of entertaining MacCarthy More with his lady and suite." (S.M. "Ballycarbery Castle." Kerry Archaeological Magazine 3.16 (1916): 243-59.)
A modern controversy about the authenticity of the MacCarthy Mór hereditary title may be read here.

16Lecky 51.
After the complaint about the damage inflicted on the castle wall was printed in the local newspaper in 1910, the property agent wrote, "Immediately on seeing your letter in reference to the fine old Ballycarbery Castle, I went to see the building, and I find that the tenant occupying the farm adjoining has removed about 25 feet of the outer wall at the south side; the wall measured 6 feet by 8 feet high. He has also removed a large quantity of loose stones which were lying around the building. I cautioned the tenant against interfering again with the ruins; and I do not think he will allow any further trespass to be committed." (Cochrane, Robert. "Ballycarbery Castle, County Kerry." The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Fifth 40.1 (1910): 56-57.)