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Cruachain - Rathbeg Barrow
 

County

Roscommon

Coordinates

N 53° 48' 24.0"   W 008° 18' 29.04"

Nearest town

Tulsk

Grid Ref.

M 79709 84169

Map No.

33

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

154

Date of visit

Friday 26 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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Rathbeg seen from the northwest.


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.

This mound is classified as a barrow and dates to the Iron Age. Its name, Rath Beg, means "small fort". It has a central cairn surrounded by two concentric banks, with an internal ditch each. The outer diameter of this mound is about 35 metres. From the top of this mound it is possible to see Rath Cruachan Mound/A> to the southeast (155°) and Rathnadarve to the southwest (210°).


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