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Rathcroghan - The Guidebook

Rathcroghan – The Guidebook


This guidebook contains 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.

Queen Medb Exclusive Minifigure

Queen Medb Minifigure


Newly-commissioned Queen Medb Minifigure, incorporating both elements of the great Queen of Connacht.
The Warrior Queen is seen with her spear and shield, which depicts the great bulls featured in our Irish epic, The Cattle Raid of Cooley (Táin Bó Cuailnge).
Queen Medb is also seen as a goddess of the landscape, referenced by the symbol depicted on her skirt; the symbol of the feminine: maiden, mother and crone.
This is a limited edition minifigure, and the first minifigure ever to be commissioned to represent Ireland’s fascinating mythology!

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.

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.

Queen Medb Family Tree Wallchart

Queen Medb Family Tree Wallchart


It would be impossible to discuss Irish history or mythology without considering its most vivid female character, the Iron Age Warrior Queen Medb (Maeve). Although once generally regarded as an historical character, modern scholars see her in a somewhat different light, in the guise of a divine goddess like figure. Whichever way you consider her there is no doubt that she captures the imagination of generations. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Medb seems to embody all aspects, from the royal and sacred, to the mythological and divine. This enigmatic queen crosses all borders with her universal appeal, and it is certainly no exaggeration for us to regard her as a national emblem.

This beautiful bespoke fold out Family Tree Wallchart display, gives details of Queen Medb’s life, character, numerous marriages and offspring, death and burial.

Size – A2, full colour, 200gsm gloss.

An Táin T-Shirt


Beautiful, bespoke adult T-shirt depicting ‘An Táin Bó Cuailnge’ (the Cattle Raid of Cooley)

T-shirt Back

T-Shirt Front

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.

Rindoon Castle And Deserted Medieval Town - A Visitors Guide

Rindoon Castle And Deserted Medieval Town – A Visitors Guide


The town and castle of Rindoon were founded in 1227 as a royal Anglo-Norman borough and fortress on the sometimes turbulent frontier between the Anglo- Norman colony in Ireland and a region controlled by the Irish O’Conor kings of Connacht.

The well preserved remains at Rindoon are regarded as being one of the most important medieval complexes still standing in Britain and Ireland. It is, also, without doubt one of the finest examples in Europe of a deserted medieval town.

The deserted town and castle of Rindoon are situated on the peninsula of St. John’s Point, which runs out south eastwards from the western, Connacht shore of Lough Ree.

It is hoped that this guidebook will provide not only information, but enjoyment for those who visit Rindoon and St. John’s Point. Its detailed nature will hopefully also make it a contribution to the ongoing academic research currently being carried out on Ireland’s medieval towns, castles, abbeys and priories.

Roscommon Castle - A Visitors Guide By Margaret Murphy and Kieran O'Conor

Roscommon Castle – A Visitors Guide By Margaret Murphy and Kieran O’Conor


“In Roscommon Castle a Visitor’s Guide Margaret Murphy and Kieran O’Conor chart the history and architectural development of Roscommon Castle from the mid-thirteenth century onwards. The full colour illustrated guidebook has chapters called: The History of the Castle, The Siting of the Castle, A tour of the Late Thirteeneth-Century Castle, The Late Medieval O’Conor Occupation and A Tour of the Late Sixteenth-Century Castle. The guidebook also includes two detailed historical reconstruction drawings by Daniel Tietzsch Tyler.

This guidebook is intended to be a comprehensive guide for visitors to Roscommon castle, as well as a point of reference for academics and local historians. Historic Reconstruction Drawings used in the guidebook intended to give the visitor an impression of what the castle may have been like in the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.”

“Authors: Dr Kieran O’Conor is a lecturer in archaeology in NUI, Galway. Margaret Murphy MA graduated from NUIG in 2002, after writing her Masters Dissertation on the subject of Roscommon Castle. She wrote the guidebook based on the findings of her Masters. She works as a freelance archaeologist and lives in Galway.”

Roscommon Abbey - A Visitors Guide By Kieran O'Conor and Brian Shanahan

Roscommon Abbey – A Visitors Guide By Kieran O’Conor and Brian Shanahan


“In ‘Roscommon Abbey: A Visitor’s Guide’ Dr. Kieran O’Conor and Brian Shanahan chart the history and architectural development of Roscommon Abbey from the mid-thirteenth century onwards.

The full colour illustrated guidebook has chapters called: Ecclesiastical activity at Roscommon before the Dominicans; Who were the Dominicans? The foundation of the priory in 1253; the subsequent history of the priory; the siting of the priory; the physical remains at Roscommon priory today; a tour of the thirteenth-century priory and a tour of the fifteenth century priory.

The guidebook also includes two detailed historical reconstruction drawings by Daniel Tietzsch Tyler and a box text by Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB outlining a typical day in the life of a Dominican Friar in medieval Ireland.”

‘Authors: Dr Kieran O’Conor is a lecturer in archaeology in NUI, Galway. Brian Shanahan worked in the Medieval Rural Settlement project with the Discovery Programme.’