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Stone Walls in the Ring of Kerry
Image by dlkinney
The Ring of Kerry is fill of the stone walls you see at the bottom of this photo. (Again, taken through the tour bus window while moving.) The prevalence of stone walls is due to a law enacted by the British to gain control over the lands of the Catholics. A Protestant could bequeath all of his lands to a single heir, but a Catholic had to bequeath equals shares of his land to each of his children. Stone walls had to be erected showing the division of land. Thus, even a Catholic who owned a very large farm couldn't expect his great grand children to own enough land off of which to feed themselves by farming. When those great grandchildren inherited the land and could not live off of it, they would have to sell it to the rich English absentee landlords and then rent a larger piece of land back from an English lord. All of this was quite effective in getting all of the land out of Irish hands and into the hands of English nobility in less than a century.