Inner fosse

Rathealy

Castle-Ringwork

The huge earthworks at Rathealy are classified as a castle ringwork on the National Monuments website. My friend Anne had already visited the monument, but was keen to show me this awesome site. It consists of a raised circular area amost 50 metres in diameter, enclosed by two banks with a deep flat-bottomed fosse between the inner bank an the central area. The outer bank is only visible in the southwestern quadrant. A line of trees on the northen side may mark the line of the outer bank on that side. A gap in the inner east side of the inner bank, see top image, indicates the entrance.

Pictured above is the raised inner area, with the entrance sloping to the left. Inside this area are the slight remains of four rectangular buildings. Carrigan in 1905 mentions a souterrain, but I could see no entrance for one. The castle works was constructed on a ridge, so there are good views of the surrounding landscape. There is evidence of a medieval settlement in the field to the east of the earhworks. There was a church and a graveyard and several buildings. In the north east corner of the field a sunken area, with low banks on either side, may have been a hollow-way leading to the monument. A standing stone that lay prostrate in the next field to the east, has been moved to a nearby farmhouse.

Looking west over the inner fosse and bank

Looking north west along the inner fosse

Situated: We approched from the south, but I think the landowners may be at the farmstead to the west. From Tullaroan head north for about 3 kilometres. At the T-Junction take a left turn. Please ask for permission at the farm c.600 metres down here on the right.

Discovery Map 60: S 3835 6054. Last visit Apr 2019.

Longitude: 7° 25' 58" W

Latitude: 52° 41' 41" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Looking east through the entrance

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