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




Nearest Town:Balla (3km NNE)
OS Ref (IE):   M2425781939 / Sheet: 31
Latitude:53° 46' 53.35" N
Longitude:   9° 8' 57.03" W

Added by Rhiannon

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There are three raths in Brownhall - maybe this is the one discussed, maybe it isn't (but it looks quite visible on the aerial photo so will be there if you visit it). Perhaps they're all connected up anyway...
There are several forts in the District. There is one in Brownhall, one in Rathduff and one in Loona. They are sometimes called dĂșns. There is a distance of about two miles between each fort.
In the Brownhall fort the ground is raised about twenty feet, the sides of it are very straight and hard to climb. It is circular on the top and surrounded by two rows of trees. In the centre is a square opening at the head of which is a small tree.
A few years ago a cow got lost, the people searched around without success. She was found dead in the fort. This roused their interest and a man went down in it. About a mile down the passage it is slightly blocked. There is a fort in Prizon and another in Brize. They are connected with Brownhall.
In years gone by there was a Danish fortress about a mile and a half from Brownhall. The Brownhall fort was used as an escape from the fortress when it was attacked by the Irish. They were also used for sending secret messages and for hiding in. I was down in it myself and the workmanship is perfect. About every five yards down the passage, there is a hole in the roof to let light and air in. There are three rooms in it with a small opening into each one.
There is a legend saying that "a Dane who rode a white horse is supposed to have hidden there, but, he was caught and killed. After his death he was supposed to ride around the fort every night.
Music is supposed to be heard in it on Danish feasts. Lights are supposed to be seen there but it was afterwards proved that it was the glow-worm.
The grounds around the Rathduff fort are about thirty feet high and the floor is very wide. It is fixed with grass sods and it is circular in shape. There are big trees growing around it. There is an entrance in the middle with three steps on the brink.
The fairy people are supposed to have lived in them. A great many people have seen lights in them and wild cats also. The owners of the land never touched the forts when ploughing or sowing crops.
After the de Dannans were beaten at the battle of Moytura, they went into the caves and the forts and the mountains. These people are supposed to be the fairies who lived under the grounds.
The Loona fort is similar to the Brownhall fort.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, currently being digitised at

Let us hear no more of this glow-worm heresy.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th April 2016ce
Edited 4th April 2016ce