Bogs and Ancient Forests

Oak forests particularly abounded in Ireland in ancient times, and the Irish oak was so very durable that it was found superior to that of any other country for shipbuilding, timber for houses, furniture, and various other purposes. In our old historians are accounts of the clearing of many great plains and cutting down forests in various parts of Ireland, in the earliest ages. In the clearing out of these great plains the forests were destroyed, and great quantities of trees are found deeply buried in the bogs; and in the formation of the “Grand Canal,” when cutting through the Bog of Allen, in Kildare, oak, fir, yew, and other trees were found buried twenty or thirty feet below the surface, and these trees lie prostrated in a horizontal position, and have the appearance of being burned at the bottom of their trunks and roots: fire having been found far more powerful in prostrating those forests than cutting them down with the axe; and the great depth at which those trees are found in bogs, shows that they must have lain there for many ages.