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When
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Cruachain - Rathmore Ring Fort
 

County

Roscommon

Coordinates

N 53° 48' 36.2"   W 008° 18' 38.7"

Nearest town

Tulsk

Grid Ref.

M 79577 84532

Map No.

33

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

152

Date of visit

Saturday 7 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The mound of the ring fort seen from the south.


Cruachain, or Cruachan, is one of the most important ancient sites cited in Irish literature and history. It was a place of assembly and the burial ground for many Irish kings. It was also used as a site for ritual gatherings and ceremonies and probably it was also the residence for some of the kings. Cruachain is a large area of about 10 square kilometres and includes 19 enclosures, 27 burial mounds, pillar stones and standing stones and some other earthworks. Some of them are still clearly visible in the landscape, others have been flattened or erased by the human activities over the centuries and can be detected only by an aerial inspection.
Cruachain appears in the irish mythology as the seat of Ailill and Medb, respectively king and queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle. The site is the setting for the opening of the famous legendary tale of the Táin Bó Cúailnge.

Rathmore, or Ráth Mór, is the more easily accessible of the monuments in the complex of Cruachain since it's on the north side of the N5 between Tulsk and Bellanagare. It also has a small car park.
This mound, a ring fort, has a diameter of about 38 metres, with a bank and a deep ditch around, which is in excess of 5 metres wide. The mound is crossed by a pathway, very well visible on the east side of the bank.
It could have been a royal settlement in early medieval times. Surveys have revealed that a circular timber structure, a hall, was on the top of the mound, possibly a place for feasts and hospitality.


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