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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Rathgall Stone Fort


Co Carlow

Rathgall Stone Fort, in Tullow County Carlow, is a hillside fortification with 8th century outer walls and later medieval inner walls. Evidence from excavations carried out at Rathgall suggests that hill forts were constructed from the late Bronze Age (800 BC) into the Iron Age and continued to be used into post medieval times.

On excavation in 1969 Rathgall turned out to be the first Later Bronze Age Workshop located in Ireland and more than 400 clay moulds were also found there. Evidence of a house was discovered in the inner stone circle with the second and third ramparts forming the main defensive walls. Rathgall was a huge workshop where spears, swords and shields were fashioned. During the excavations in 1969 more than four hundred fragments of clay moulds were found.

A further two or three hundred were discovered away from the main workshop, showing the considerable extent of the bronze-working area. Excavations revealed that an important wealthy family or small community lived on the hilltop.


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