The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




Rathnew is a large rath, with a deep embankment and fosse and a smaller, conjoined section about half its size on its western quarter. Not much remains of the houses that once stood here, but there is much of intrigue to make the megalithic adventurer happy.

In the western 'annex' is a circle of low stones, mostly embedded into the ground, some proud of the ground by about a maximum of 20 cms. It's about 5 metres in diameter with a standing stone at its centre. This stone is about three quarters of a metre tall and is a place for offerings, coins of varying worth on the day I visited. MacAllister notes it as a "dolmen-like stone". Like a few places on Uisneach that day, it had a magical air about it. It also must be pointed out that the ring is probably modern, as mentioned elsewhere and it doesn't appear in MacAllister and Praeger's plan.

The annex has two entrances, at the west and south. The defensive works here are impressive – an outer bank, a fosse (now darkened and alley-like under the covering trees) and an inner bank. The fosse continues onto the bigger part of the rath at the north, but starts to fill up fairly quickly in this sector.

Slightly north of east, there is an opening, with two seeming jambstones or gate stones. South of the entrance the fosse clears out again. Inside this large rath there are the remains of habitation structures, one of which MacAllister and Praeger excavated and left with quite an extensive plan. In its western sector, before it meets the annex, is a souterrain, now filled in and inaccessible. Pity.

This is a fascinating place, somewhere I'd like to explore in greater depth, and intend to do so now that I have the plans of the place.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
2nd July 2013ce
Edited 2nd July 2013ce

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