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


Knockgraffon Motte

Artificial Mound

<b>Knockgraffon Motte</b>Posted by bawn79Image © Bawn79
Nearest Town:Caher (4km SSE)
OS Ref (IE):   S046289 / Sheet: 74
Latitude:52° 24' 42.16" N
Longitude:   7° 55' 56.61" W

Added by bawn79

Show  |  Hide
Web searches for Knockgraffon Motte
Show map   (inline Google Map)

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
<b>Knockgraffon Motte</b>Posted by bawn79 <b>Knockgraffon Motte</b>Posted by bawn79


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
This is an interesting site and the history is conflicting with some saying it was built by the Normans and others saying it dates back further.
The fact that it is associated with Fairy music for me at least suggests that it dates further than this.
To get there turn off the n8 for Cahir and then follow the sign for knockgraffon by turning right over the motorway bridge. From there keep with the road and u cant miss it. It is on the left hand side
I really like this site, its very peaceful on top and the views are amazing. For me there is a definite feeling of this being older than a motte and it would be interesting to see what excavation would reveal. Even geophysics would reveal a lot id say.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
16th July 2008ce


Add folklore Add folklore
I was very excited when I found this paragraph.
It hints that the motte may be a passage tomb as I had suspected.

Journal of the Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society Volume III 1897

Available to download at

Pg 92 - Earliest Monuments in Cashel and Emly
by Rev R H Long, Rector, Templemore

"What a pity it is that a society is not formed now, e'er it is too late, to make a thorough photographic examination of those that remain, and deposit in our museum whatever articles may be found in them of historic value.
The fairies of our times are growing too merciful to mankind to be trusted any longer with those relics, and when they allow Paddy to get hold of them he does not care anything about them unless they are either gold or silver. However, it is probable that but few of these earth-works are sepulchral; those with a central mound are, I suppose, the only ones that may be.
The remains at New Grange, near Drogheda, are considered to be tombs, and the similar mounds in the diocese of Cashel and Emly may be also. The most notable of these are two in Rathcool parish-one at Ardmayle, and one at Knockgraffon. There is no doubt that these mounds are hollow, and there is but little doubt that some day they will be destroyed. One of them had in recent years a narrow escape from a passing railway. I have been informed on good authority that some fifty years age certain workmen, while tilling the field about this latter, came on a subter-ranean passage in which they found what they described as two old swords and an old bucket, which, of course, they treated as rubbish."
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
5th January 2009ce
Edited 5th January 2009ce

Knockgraffon.--Another noted Munster palace was Cnoc-Rafonn, now called Knockgraffon, three miles north of Caher in Tipperary, where the great mound, 60 or 70 feet high, still remains, with the ruins of an English castle beside it. Here resided, in the third century, Fiacha Muillethan [Feeha-Mullehan], king of Munster, who, when the great King Cormac mac Art invaded Munster in an attempt to levy tribute, defeated him at Knocklong and routed his army: an event which forms the subject of the historical tale called "The Siege of Knocklong."

The fort is now as noted for fairies as it was in times of old for royalty: and one of the best known modern fairy stories in connexion with it will be found in Crofton Croker's "Fairy Legends of Ireland" namely, "The Legend of Knockgrafton." This Irish legend has been turned into English verse, but with much interpolation, by Thomas Parnell in his ballad, "A Fairy Tale."


Secret Sights book has this to say
"renowned as a place of otherworldly music. It was widly reputed in the 19th Century to be a place where ceolsidhe, the music of enchantment, could be heard."
"it has an ancient well, where Fiacha had placed silver cups for anyone wishing to drink, to offer hospitality and show his rule of law.

7th century poem about it
"This great rath on which I stand
Wherein is a little well with a bright silver drinking cup
Sweet was the voice of the wood of blackbirds
Round this rath of Fiacha, son of Moinche"
(Joyce, 1913)

link to a pic of it.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
16th July 2008ce