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    Granite Dry Stone Walls and Ditches of the Blackstairs in South Carlow
    The granite dry stone walls and ditches of the Blackstairs in south Carlow occur in a wide area some of which is beyond the scope of this report. These are areas of the rural landscape where stones have been cleared from the land and used to form field boundaries. They can be loosely divided into upland areas where the land is likely to have been reclaimed, and more lowland areas where the land is more fertile. Michael Conry who has written about various aspects of stone building in County Carlow divides the walls into two types which he calls, consumption walls and coping walls, in his book The Carlow Fence, Traditional Granite Fencing & Dry Stone Walls in County Carlow. Consumption walls are often very thick walls, one to three metres, and in one case that we have found,five metres, and between one and two or more metres high. These walls are known locally as ditches. Conry calls them consumption walls because they consume so many stones, they are veritable stores of stones, and are usually found in the upland areas. Coping walls are more like the walls that are found in other parts of Ireland, they may be two or three stones thick and have rows of coping stones at the top. These are similar to what is known as a double wall on the Aran Islands, and they are often found bordering the road, and some were built in response to government grant schemes. The field boundary system includes stone artefacts such as geataí which are described in Part 3.