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.
- Alison R
This Visitors Centre is a real find for anyone interested in the Celts and the Iron Age or generally any aspect of Ireland's rural heritage. I was so impressed with... read more
This site is nominated as a Unesco World Heritage Site for a reason. This is the epicenter of the greatest oral epic in Irish History - Ireland's equivalent of the... read more
Our visit to Rathcroghan combined myth, history and archeology to provide a wonderful appreciation of this exceptional site. Our guide, Mike, gave us a lively account of the Táin and... read more
We always try to look in on the visitor centre when we are in Ireland, but this time we booked in on the tour they arrange of some of the... read more
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