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While it would seem probable that some ringforts may have seen continuation in the Later Medieval period as adapted or imitation mottes it seems doubtful if the continuation that ringforts were still being built on a more general scale throughout the country, and the evidence put forward for such a theory would appear quite slim.
The excavations which support such a theory, most notably Rynne's excavation at Shannon Airport of Garrynamona which is suggestive of a 15th-century ringfort being constructed, have failed to win any form of widespread popular acceptance.
Some L Plan Castles, such as Balingarry Castle in Ireland originated as ringforts.
This theory is supported by a number of excavations, most notably the results of the Castleskreen II excavation, and the raised raths at Piper's Fort, and Ballyfounder, Co.
This argument is primarily two-fold, ringforts were gradually converted into what would more generally be considered as mottes today, and there is some slight and contentious archaeological evidence that points to the habitation and construction of obvious ringforts in this later medieval period.Three general theories mark the debate on the chronology of Irish ringforts; firstly the theory that wishes to date ringforts back into the Iron Age period; secondly, the theory that seeks to see the continuation of ringfort habitation into the Later Medieval and even the Modern Period; finally, the more common and generally accepted theory that ringforts were a product of the second half of the first millennium, a theory which has been given greater definition by Matthew Stout in recent years.According to the authoritative New History of Ireland (2005), "archaeologists are agreed that the vast bulk of them are the farm enclosures of the well-to-do of early medieval Ireland".Limerick, which seem to have been converted into mottes in the case of Castleskreen II or in the later cases, built in imitation of such constructions.If one were to accept a defensive function for ringforts, it would seem that after the introduction of more complex forms of defensive structures into Ireland this would naturally lead to the use of ringforts and raised raths in a manner analogous to the contemporary Norman buildings.