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Navan Fort Hill Fort
 

County

Armagh

Coordinates

N 54° 20' 52.62"   W 006° 41' 53.4"

Nearest town

Armagh

Grid Ref.

H 84637 45146

Map No.

19

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

84

Date of visit

Friday 31 May 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The access to the large earth embankment, on its northwest side.


The name Navan Fort is a little misleading, because the site isn't a fort in the real meaning of the word, but it's rather a prehistoric sanctuary built around the 1st century before Christ.
The site is also known with the name of Eamhain Mhacha, meaning "the Twins of Macha".

It's a circular earth embankment and a ditch that surround a low and rather flat hill with a diameter of about 250 metres. On this low hill there are two earthworks. The main one is to west edge of the hill, and it's a mound about 60 metres of diameter (measured at the base) and about 6 metres high.
This mound was built in three different stages. The first stage was the building of a timber structure, with five concentric rings of oak posts with their heights increasing towards the centre. The outermost circle had a timber wall. The second stage was to fill the timber structure with large limestone boulders to form a cairn about 2.80 metres high. The third step of the building was to set the outer timber wall on fire. The last stage was to cover cairn and the timber structure with soil and turf up to about 6 metres in total.
The purpose of this mound was ceremonial, but there's no clear clue of what kind of ceremonies could be held on it.

About 80 metres southeast (120°) from the mound, and slightly off-centre on the hill, is a barrow, which is smaller in diameter, just 28 metres.

We came here for the first time on December 11th, 1995, on a frosty and foggy day.


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