<< Our Photo Pages >> Rathgall Hill Fort - Hillfort in Ireland (Republic of) in Co. Wicklow

Submitted by Andy B on Monday, 10 May 2010  Page Views: 9275

Iron Age and Later PrehistorySite Name: Rathgall Hill Fort Alternative Name: Ring of the Rath
Country: Ireland (Republic of) County: Co. Wicklow Type: Hillfort
Nearest Town: Tullow
Map Ref: S90227315
Latitude: 52.802157N  Longitude: 6.66304W
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
3 Ambience:
2Not Good
0No data.
4 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
4 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data

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Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : From same position as previous photo, looking towards ESE and the southern section of the inner 'fort'. (July 1999) Both these views give an idea of the width of the strong walls. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Hillfort in Co. Wicklow. Rathgall, a multiple rampart hillfort located in County Wicklow in the southeast of Ireland, is one of the few Late Bronze Age settlements discovered and excavated in the country. Commencing in 1969, Barry Raftery, an archaeologist from University College Dublin, excavated the site throughout the early 1970s.

During this time, the majority of the finds dated from the Late Bronze Age, including the first Late Bronze Age metal workshop to be recognized in Ireland, a large circular house, and a large burial enclosure. Evidence suggests that Rathgall was occupied until Medieval times, and as a whole, provides important information and raises important questions about the under researched topic of Irish Hillforts.

Full report on Rathgall Hillfort pages (Archive Link)

Note: Review of a book celebrating the work of Barry Raftery, former professor of Celtic archaeology, see the comment
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Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : These two stones are near the ESE of the inner 'fort' wall. Here, looking back towards the western entrance. (See dowsing plan in that section for positions.) (Vote or comment on this photo)

Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : Looking from the West entrance towards friend Seamus standing in the centre, with the Wicklow Hills to the east, behind him. (2 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : Standing on top of the wall to the left of the western entrance of the inner 'fort' area, looking across the northern section towards NE. (July 1999) (Vote or comment on this photo)

Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : Copyright Simon Dowling: I found this image that I'd saved back in 2015 while browsing an old disk of photos. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : Taken in Sept. 2001, when light was leaking into my old Nikon, this was the old signpost to the hillfort. (Note it is also known locally as ' The Ring of the Rath'.)

Rathgall Hill Fort
Rathgall Hill Fort submitted by AngieLake : Seamus moves from right to left across the eastern section of wall. (About 5'7" tall for comparison.) Note stones which appear in dowsing plan later.

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 266m WSW 237° Rathgall Destroyed Stone Circle Stone Circle (S900730)
 4.8km N 359° Haroldstown* Portal Tomb (S90087793)
 6.3km WSW 254° Ardristan* Standing Stone (Menhir) (S8413871337)
 6.9km ENE 66° Clonmore* Ancient Cross
 15.2km WNW 285° Browne’s Hill* Portal Tomb (S7538476873)
 16.0km N 7° Gates Of Heaven Burial Chamber or Dolmen
 16.2km N 355° Baltinglass* Passage Grave (S8855289249)
 16.4km NNE 13° Boleycarrigeen* Stone Circle
 16.7km NW 316° Castledermot High Crosses* Ancient Cross
 20.7km N 7° Castleruddery Stone Row / Alignment (S925937)
 21.1km N 5° Castleruddery* Stone Circle (S9159394210)
 22.5km NNW 331° Moone High Cross* Ancient Cross (S7891192693)
 23.1km NNE 21° The Long Stone (Knickeen)* Standing Stone (Menhir) (S983948)
 27.0km N 354° Tournant Stone Circle (N870000)
 29.0km NNW 347° Brewel Hill Stone Circle (N833013)
 30.1km N 6° Athgreany* Stone Circle (N930032)
 31.1km NE 43° Glendalough settlement and pilgrim cross* Ancient Village or Settlement
 31.3km NNW 347° Kilgowan* Standing Stone (Menhir)
 32.6km NE 44° The Glendalough Cross and Deer Stone* Early Christian Sculptured Stone (T126969)
 33.7km N 5° Whiteleas Stone Circle
 34.5km N 6° Broadleas* Stone Circle (N9292507609)
 34.6km N 349° Old Kilcullen High Cross Ancient Cross
 34.6km WNW 287° Slatt Lower Stone Circle (S568827)
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 35.4km WNW 294° Druids Altar (Monamanry) Ring Cairn
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"Rathgall Hill Fort" | Login/Create an Account | 3 News and Comments
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Re: Rathgall by Andy B on Monday, 05 April 2021
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Re: Review of Relics of Old Decency – Archaeological Studies in Later Prehistory by Condros on Monday, 10 May 2010
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After reading "Pagan Celtic Ireland" I was more than disappointed, especially since Dr. Anne Ross had done such a magnificent work with "Pagan Celtic Britain". It almost seemed like Barry Raftery was apologising for the lack of the Celtic Iron Age artifacts, and almost questioning the fact that Celtic tribes had ever come to the island to begin with. I had felt that perhaps he should have spoken with Fr. Tom O' Connor who wrote "The Hand of History-The Burden of Pseudo-History" to understand the depth of true Celtic invasion and settlement, in Ireland. Especially since the obvious recent destruction of so many of Ireland's ancient monuments and the lack of concern by Irish Politicians for the island's heritage.
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Review of Relics of Old Decency – Archaeological Studies in Later Prehistory by Andy B on Monday, 10 May 2010
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Barry Raftery, former professor of Celtic archaeology in the UCD school of archaeology, the fifth man to hold the post since it was established in 1909, and one of Europe’s most innovative archaeologists, began his seminal work, Pagan Celtic Ireland (1994) with characteristic flourish.

“July the 18th in the year 387 BC was not a good day for Rome. On the left bank of the Tiber on that date Roman forces were disastrously defeated at the battle of Allia by hordes of fearsome barbarian invaders pouring southwards across the Alps from central Europe. The marauders advanced rapidly on Rome and found, to their astonishment, the gates open and unguarded . . . There followed widespread massacre and pillage and most of Rome was reduced to a smouldering ruin. After a lengthy siege of the Capitol the invaders were finally bought off and Rome, though humiliated, survived to rise again.” The barbarians were none other than the Celts.

An internationally acknowledged authority on the archaeology of later prehistoric societies, Raftery is duly celebrated in a magnificent Festschrift, Relics of Old Decency: Archaeological Studies in Later Prehistory , published by the ever-excellent Wordwell. Irish archaeologists and colleagues from throughout the world have come together in this wonderful book to honour Raftery who has dedicated his life’s work to placing Irish archaeology within a European context.

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