Showing all 8 results

Rathcroghan – The Guidebook 2nd Edition

New Edition 2023 now available to order.

This second edition of the Rathcroghan Guidebook contains updated and new imagery and text alongside entries on every aspect of Rathcroghan, from its archaeological and historical landscapes, through to its literary and mythological associations. This publication is the quintessential user’s guide to this fascinating archaeological landscape. Drawing upon historical, literary and cutting-edge archaeological research, Rathcroghan: The Guidebook is designed to bring the reader on a journey through time at Rathcroghan, from the first settlers to this broad limestone plain in the Neolithic period, through to the political mechanics of late medieval Machaire Connacht.

Thereafter, you will be taken on a journey of a different kind. You will see how our ancestors wove a tapestry of literature on top of this canvas of Rathcroghan, connecting physical landmarks and ancestor burials with the intoxicating narrative of Queen Medb of Connacht and the Ulster Cycle of Tales, filled with war and strife, jealousy and intrigue, gods and mere mortals.

Rathcroghan Archaeological Trail

Rathcroghan Archaeological Trail


This driving tour has been designed for the visitor to Rathcroghan to be able to experience a selection of the great number of monuments on the landscape here in your own time and at your own pace. This unique environment has been interacted with for over 6,000 years, beginning in the Neolithic, and continuing to be used in different forms up until the late medieval period at least.

The monuments here fall into a range of categories, from burial and funerary monuments, to settlement sites and field boundaries. Aside from these, monuments such as Rathcroghan Mound and the cave of Oweynagat give us an insight into the minds of the people who constructed and used these monuments.

Viewing this archaeological landscape in association with the huge corpus of medieval Irish literature that refers to Cruachan Aí and, in particular, the cast of characters that we encounter in the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley) allows us to gain an understanding of the lives and beliefs of the Iron Age and early historic Irish.

Out of stock

PAGAN IRELAND, Ritual and Belief in Another World – John Waddell


Archaeologists frequently come across puzzling evidence for ritual activity and Pagan Ireland looks at some of these discoveries. This is a survey of the many rituals and beliefs that were vitally important elements of life in ancient Ireland over several thousand years from at least 4000 BC. Driven by a very human desire to make sense of the world and transform their lives, people created sacred spaces and monuments to facilitate communication with the gods and with ancestral figures. A multiplicity of sacred phenomena were a part of everyday experience, with landscapes and objects often holding unworldly meaning.

Written for a general readership, this wide-ranging study draws on archaeological evidence and on what is known about ritual practices in other cultures to address the difficult question of what beliefs might lie behind certain ritual activities. Sometimes it is possible to make a plausible guess as to what these may have been. A circle of stones was more than just a way of marking a sacred space, the round plan was an expression of a belief in a circular, cyclical cosmos as witnessed in the path of the sun and the fixed stars, and in the rhythm of the year.

Sun worship is recorded throughout prehistory and is apparent not just at famous sites like Newgrange but in imagery in gold and bronze at a later date. The great disc of the sun travelled across the daytime sky and at night was believed to descend beneath the earth in the west, traversing a mysterious underworld, to rise again in the east.

Funerary ceremonies, solar symbolism, magical metalworking, an enduring belief in the cosmic circle, fertility rites, idol worship and much more were all a part of a great pagan tapestry. Veneration of the old gods survived well into Christian times.

John Waddell, formerly Professor of Archaeology in the University of Galway, has written extensively on Irish archaeology. His work on Rathcroghan, a place like Tara that is rich in myth and legend, inspired his interest in Celtic mythology and publications like Archaeology and Celtic Myth (2014).

Rathcroghan: Archaeological & Geophysical Survey In A Ritual Landscape

Rathcroghan: Archaeological & Geophysical Survey In A Ritual Landscape


Rathcroghan (Crúachain) is often referred to as both a ‘Celtic’ Royal Settlement and a sacred burial place; it is one of several major royal sites in ancient Ireland, such as Tara, Co. Meath, Knockaulin, Co. Kildare, and Navan Fort near Armagh, that are frequently mentioned in early literature.

While these sites had special importance in early historic times, and in some cases bore and extraordinary weight of myth and legend, we now know that they are older archaeological assemblages of impressive complexity and size.

This book is the result of a major programme of archaeological field research at Rathcroghan in County Roscommon in the West of Ireland. The project involved the use of a range of geophysical techniques to explore a number of extraordinary monuments in the Royal Site.

Rathra – A Royal Stronghold of Early Medieval Connacht by Joe Fenwick


‘Rathra – A Royal Stronghold of Early Medieval Connacht’ by Joe Fenwick explores the date, role and significance of this spectacular multivallate earthwork, a little-known archaeological site concealed among the hidden heartlands of rural Co. Roscommon.

This beautifully illustrated full colour publication, the latest in a series published by Roscommon Co. Council is a must for anyone with an interest in the archaeology and history of the wider Roscommon landscape.

Heritage Guide 22 - Oweynagat - The Cave Of Cruachain: An Entrance To The Otherworld In Co. Roscommon

Heritage Guide 22 – Oweynagat – The Cave Of Cruachain: An Entrance To The Otherworld In Co. Roscommon


Written by Tom Condit and Fionnbarr Moore, this heritage guide is an excellent way for you to make your acquaintance with the enigmatic monument of Oweynagat, (Uaimh na gCat), the Cave of the Cats.

This unique monument, comprised of a man-made souterrain attached to a limestone cavern, is very interesting from a geological point of view, but it is the epic literature that truely brings the cave to life.

Complete with a reconstruction drawing of the monument, this should be your first port of call before visiting ‘Ireland’s Gate to Hell’.

Rathcroghan And Carnfree By Michael Herity

Rathcroghan And Carnfree By Michael Herity


Rathcroghan and Carnfree (Celtic Royal Sites in Roscommon), by Prof. Michael Herity. This guide is based on a survey of the antiquities in an area of 100 square kilometres around Cruachain and Carnfree begun before 1980.

The results of the survey have been published in four articles in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1983, 1984, 1987, 1988).