Places of Interest nearby
Location address: Ireland, Clare
Number of texts: 4
From the Irish ‘Boíreann’ meaning a rocky place, the rolling hills of the Burren are composed of limestone pavements criss-crossed and gouged by fissures called grykes, leaving clints - raised, slab-like flat areas. The limestone, laid down in a shallow tropical sea in the Lower Carboniferous some 350 million years ago, has been shaped by episodes of glaciation, most recently during the last Ice Age. Covering roughly 360 square kilometres, parts of this karst landscape lie in one of Ireland’s six national parks. The Burren boasts the most extensive area of limestone pavement in Europe, harbours a unique floral diversity with Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine flowers blooming side by side, and is one of the finest examples of a glacio-karst landscape in the world. The rocky landscape that we see today is not just the result of glacial erosion and natural weathering, but also 6,000 years of agricultural activity. The Burren has been settled since the Mesolithic and boasts a cornucopia of archaeological monuments from the stone walled field systems and megalithic structures of the Neolithic, including the well preserved portal dolmen at Poulnabrone, to later Bronze Age settlements, Iron Age hill forts and Medieval churches. A landscape rich in both nature and lore, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, managed by Clare County Council, is a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
The Burren. Despite its rocky appearance, the Burren is home to over 70% of Ireland’s native plant species including 24 different types of orchid
The Burren in County Clare is internationally famous for its natural landscape and rare species of flora.
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Discover the rich history of this unique rocky landscape in the west of Ireland, known as The Burren. Portal dolmens, caves and burial chambers, for example the Poulnabrone burial dolmen dating back over 1500 BC.