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.
The tour guide we had was Daniel Curley and he was brilliant. He made sure to answer all of the questions we had and was very helpful to our little... read more
The museum is really excellent, there is a very interesting exhibition on the history of the site and the landscape. There are two films, one explains the archaeology of the... read more
Really interesting tour. Mike the guide was really enthusiastic and knowledgable. Fantastic value for money as tour lasted over 2 hours. Great way to break a drive west or to... read more
The site is incredibly brought to life by Mike's thorough and entertaining knowledge, incredible centre this place is of history and myth. Left with a sense of connection to the... read more
- Christa N
Standing on the site of such an important and pivotal place in Ireland's ancient history was a humbling experience. Add to that the incredible care taken by the knowledgeable ... read more
- Ann H
The visitors center here is built with nothing but what tourists can buy. However, the food and gift shop was quite good. It was a good place to relax after... read more
Visited this interpretive centre and site on the way back from Sligo. Very impressed with the centre - it is small but very well designed and has something for... read more
My husband, 3 and 5 year old visited Rathcroghan visitor centre last Saturday. We had a fantastic day there. The centre itself has a nicely sized museum with lots of... read more
Excellent tour with Mike our guide highly recommended went down into the cave of cats the birthplace of Halloween. Superb stories so well told managed to keep my 6 and... read more