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.
Dissapointing, this was the worst visitor centre we have been in since we arrived. There was no access to the mound outside and the cave which was the reason we... read more
I'm delighted we took the day to head west to visit the Rathcrogan complex. The tour with Mike was excellent - a wonderful mix of archaeology, mythology and wisecracks. We... read more
A friend of ours suggested we visit the site if possible, and after looking it up we opted to rework the second leg of our trip to make it here.... read more
What a great place! Started out with lunch there, and food and service was wonderful. After that we had a tour of the center, led by Mike. Was a very... read more
We sort of stumbled upon Rathcroghan, but spent almost the entire day there, with our guide, Daniel Curley (who co-wrote the guidebook available for sale). He has amazing knowledge,... read more
Very exciting visit hosted by Daniel and his fantastic team - lovely facilities - great exhibition area - most interesting tour complete with amazing celtic mythology - they certainly bring... read more
- Nicole G
I stumbled upon Rathcroghan's website while looking for things to see during our Ireland vacation and was immediately caught by the chance to see the place that may have been... read more
- Rue o
We stopped off here to break up a long journey. The staff were really friendly and incredibly interesting to chat to. They were keen to interact with visitors... read more
What a great facility! Take us back through the centuries to pre-historic times. The Interpretative Centre is first class and the tour is superb. Declan, our guide,... read more