Cannonball, iron, found in the vicinity of Ballycar Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus, possibly dating to 1654.


Cannonball, iron, rusty but in good condition, Ballycar Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus, possibly dating to 1654.

Found by Nathan Maxwell when digging a hole for a fence post in the garden of his parent’s property at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus. It was reported by his father, Patrick Maxwell, to the National Museum of Ireland, who in turn contacted the curator of Clare Museum, John Rattigan.

It was collected from the property by John Rattigan on 22nd May 2020 and claimed for the state under the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994.

Canonballs are often associated with tower houses, for example, but there were no examples visible in the find area.

The curator was working from home due to the COVID-19 restrictions. By the time he reached his home with the cannon ball, Patrick Maxwell forwarded an email with information about Ballycar Castle, which no longer exists.

The curator contacted Martin Breen, local specialist on Clare tower houses, and he provided information using Google Maps and other documents that identified the site of Ballycar Castle as being 610 metres from the find site of the canon ball.

He provided evidence that according to Westropp, Ballycar Castle was garrisoned by Cromwellian troops in 1654.

It seems likely that the find was left behind by Cromwellian troops at that time.

Collection: 1994, National Monuments (Amendment) Act

Category: Ammunition

2020.0156 (5539)