The Burren (Irish: Boireann, meaning “great rock”, 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 in Irish and Burren in English.[citation needed]

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Geography and scenery
3 Culture
4 Gallery
5 See also
6 References
7 Further references
8 External links

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.

The territory of Burren was also called Corco Modhruadh Oirthearach (“eastern Corcomroe”), which is the northeastern portion of the shared territory, or túath, of Corco Modhruadh, and means “the people (or territory) of Modruadh”. The diocese of Kilfenora, in which Burren is situated, is coextensive with the territory of Corco Modhruadh. In the annals, Burren was often called “Burren in Corco Modhruadh”. The Ó Lochlainn clan styled themselves Kings of Burren and ruled the area until the mid-1600s. The present-day descendant of the last chief of the Ó Lochlainn clan resides in Ballyvaughan.

Grikes and clints run along the limestone pavement
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.” [1] [2]

The rolling hills of Burren are composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as “grikes”, leaving isolated rocks called “clints”. The region supports arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. The blue flower of the Spring Gentian, 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. For cavers, 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 Organisation.

Irish Coin Cufflinks guide of places to visit in Ireland.

File:Megalithic Passage Tomb.jpg