Rathcroghan (also called Crúachan) is an Iron Age archaeological site near Tulsk in County Roscommon. Legend has it that it was once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, including the mighty Queen Medb and King Ailill Mac Mata . Today, great remains remain, and provide evidence that Crúachan was probably the capital of the Connaucht in those remote times.
Between the legend and the true history of Crúachan, there is only one step, and for good reason: the place is full of archaeological remains dating back to Irish Prehistory. Crúachan is in fact a gigantic complex surrounded by an enclosure 380 metres in diameter. A Visitor Centre will then allow you to discover through an exhibition the History of the site, and will lend you a guide to discover the great prehistoric traces of Crúachan!
The Rathcroghan Mound is a circular mound 88 metres in diameter, rising up to 4 metres high in some places.
It is the most imposing construction in all Crúachan, and is clearly visible from the ground as well as from the air. It is located in the very heart of the site, and according to recent research it is a kind of tomb and a place that was used for ceremonies and rituals of the time.
A number of archaeological objects were found there to support this hypothesis.
Rathmore takes the form of a circular fort entirely covered by a mound of small stones, earth and grass. Much less imposing than the Rathcroghan Mound, archaeologists speculate that this fort was once the residence of kings, as well as Irish clan chiefs.
It is supposed to be the place where the two bulls of the mythological writing “La Razzia des Vaches de Cooley”, (Táin Bó Cúailnge in Gaelic) clashed. According to legend, a brown bull from Cooley belonging to Queen Medb defeated the bull of her husband, King Ailill Mac Mata.
Relignaree is believed to be the burial place of the high kings of Ireland at the time. Relignaree resembles a large circular enclosure, where legend has it that all the kings who once reigned in Crúachan were buried.
Legend has it that it was here that the last pagan king of Ireland was buried before the island experienced the first waves of evangelization.
every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.