Burren Facts

The Burren is an anglicisation phonetically of
the Gaelic An Bhoireann which means a place of stone.


The Burren is one of the richest archaeological landscapes in the north-west of Europe.

Over 2,000 monuments have been recorded in the region and it is estimated that another 30% of that figure remain undiscovered.

There are just less than 100 prehistoric tombs in the Burren....... 60 holy wells, 450 ring forts, 30 ecclesiastical sites, 21 medieval castles.............

The mapmaker and landscape writer, Tim Robinson, has described the Burren as "a vast memorial to bygone cultures"


The region is about 350 sq kilometres (140 sq miles) in size. It is located in north County Clare and South County Gaway in the west of Ireland.

The Burren is of true international significance for flora. Nowhere else in the world will you find the region's bizarre and complex mix of flowers from different habitats and climatic zones. The fascination lies in the melange.

The renowned botanist Bob Gibbons rates the Burren as one of the top 50 botanical sites on earth in his book "Wildflower Wonders of the World" (New Holland Publications 2011).


The Burren is defined as a karst landscape i.e. an area where the bedrock of the planet is exposed and continually being dissolved chemically by rainwater.

The exposed bedrock is called limestone pavement. The Burren is home to 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres) of limestone pavement. It is the most extensive limestone pavement landscape in the European Union.

Limestone pavement is a rare global landform and so the Burren is one of the most distinctive landscapes in Europe.
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