Rathcroghan – Bringing Ireland’s Past and Legends to Life

Rathcroghan (Cruachan Aí), is the oldest and largest unexcavated Royal Site in Europe. It is known as the Sacred Capital of Connacht, and is the location where the festival of Samhain (Halloween) is said to originate. Experience Rathcroghans rich archaeology, mythology and history through our interpretive rooms and expertly guided tours of this majestic landscape. The Rathcroghan Visitor Centre is home to our interpretative rooms and museum, and is located in the medieval village of Tulsk, Co. Roscommon.

The Rathcroghan landscape boasts over 240 identified archaeological sites, contained within an area of 6.5km², which range in date from the Neolithic Period or New Stone Age (c. 3500 BC), through to the late Medieval period, spanning a staggering period of over 5,500 years. It is the location of some 28 identified burial mounds from the Bronze and Iron Age, numerous ringforts (settlement sites) of early Medieval date, standing stones, linear earthworks, stone forts, a great Iron Age ritual sanctuary, and even a Gate to Hell! In truth, an archaeologist’s dream.

Tread across Rathcroghans ancient landscape, in the footsteps of the great warrior Queen Medb, who ruled all of Connacht from her home here at Rathcroghan. Listen to the epic tale of the Táin Bó Cuailnge, featuring a host of legendary heroes including Medb herself, the Battle Goddess Mórrígan, Connacht warrior Fráoch, and the boy hero Cú Chulainn, whose names and deeds are inextricably linked to the landscape that surrounds Rathcroghan.

Experience the legendary Oweynagat (Cave of the Cats), described as Ireland’s “Gate to Hell” and entrance to the Otherworld by fearful Christian scribes. Climb to the top of the majestic and enigmatic Rathcroghan Mound, which in the Iron Age was impressively topped with wooden ramparts and ceremonial henges, and whose secret heart remains an untouched mystery.

Fun Fact - Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

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Visitor Reviews

  •   I don't know why this place is not more famous, this is where the legendary Queen Maeve had her royal seat and where the saga of the Tain Bó Cuailnge... read more

    Lochlainneach
    8/06/2019
  •   A site not yet overcrowded, full of history and legends. would recommend it to everybody who is interested in all the legends about the queen of connaught. we did the... read more

    Janine R
    8/02/2019
  •   The most interesting and very entertaining tour of beautiful fields rocks and ruins . Mike the tour guide was so entertaining knowledgeable and passionate about the area. Would highly recommend... read more

    AliceR425
    7/29/2019
  •   The trip was absolutely fantastic. I cannot applaud Mike (tour guide) enough for his energy and information. His presentation was poetic, informative, factbased and also referenced An Táin as well... read more

    AideenBarr
    7/23/2019
  •   We stayed at Anne's B & B in Tulsk after visiting the Irish National Famine Museum in Strokestown. Anne directed us to the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre and suggested we... read more

    Kathy C
    7/23/2019
  •   The Rathcroghan Visitor Centre has a wonderful exhibition. It was very helpful and informative for the research I'm doing. They have a case with artifacts from the National Museum of... read more

    aethelyn
    7/21/2019
  •   Guide Mike was an unending source of knowledge and realism. Made history not just interesting but really fascinating. Did the tour, at the end of which a man from RTE... read more

    Discoverso
    7/19/2019
  •   The visitor center has awesome displays and local information, as well as a cute gift shop and a restaurant. Our guided tour was led by Daniel and I'm convinced there's... read more

    claire1701a
    7/19/2019
  •   I visited both the visitor center and the royal site and neither disappointed. Daniel, our guide and the manager of the visitor center, was incredibly knowledgeable and a very engaging... read more

    744emk
    7/16/2019
  •   The tour at Rathcroghan was an excellent experience! We didn’t know very much about Ireland’s past and the guide helped us understand much more about the how we know (or... read more

    Katrine D
    7/16/2019