Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments

Curraghkiely

Curraghkiely

This Ring Fort at Curraghkiely, near Rathgormuck is wonderfully situated at the foothills of the Comeragh mountains. It lies on a gentle north facing slope and consists of a circular area of 45 metres in diameter which is defined by an earth and stone bank of around 5 metres wide and 1.5 metres high. It is one of almost 250 Ring Forts recorded in Waterford.

Known locally as a Rath or Lios, the monuments are a feature of many farms throughout Ireland. They were thought to have been settlements, which date to the Early Medieval Period of around 500-1100AD. Most likely they would have been enclosed farmsteads which contained wooden housing and perhaps farm buildings which may have sheltered cattle in winter. Excavations of some sites have found houses to be of a modest size of just 5 metres in diameter. The Forts would have been made more defensive by the erection of a timber fencing on top of the bank with occasionally the entrance by a causeway.

Their occupants/owners were most likely a Lord or  a “Bo–Aire” ( prosperous farmer) and the forts may have served a number of families, similar to that of an enclosed community

In recent centuries, these frequently tree and scrub covered circles have remained untouched because of superstitious folklore surrounding them, being often referred to as Fairy Rings and the home of Fairies. It was thought that interfering with these sites would bring much bad luck  There is also stories of certain animals such as dogs who will not go near or enter these mysterious circles.

Interestingly, Curraghkiely, in Gaelic  ('Currach a' Chaolaigh') translates as "Morass of the Fairy Flax"

 

Directions: From the village of Rathgormuck travel on the R678 towards Clonmel.

After almost 5 km and where the road rises to a summit you will see the Ring Fort to the left about 0.5km across the fields.

 

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