RINGFORTS

CALARY CHURCH RINGFORT

2nd February 2020

GREAT NEWS FOR OUR LOCAL HERITAGE: The National Monument Service have just added the Ringfort/ rath my dad and I re-discovered (lost to local knowledge in recent times) to the National Database based on their assessment of the info I sent them! What an efficient service! This rath is in Calary, near the Great Sugar Loaf, 2.5 miles from Glen of the Downs, 4 miles from Greystones - literally on our doorstep!

Scroll through the photos to read the written accounts of the 'Fairyfort' at Calary Church from the 1930s!

They have also included a reference to the Sutton's Moat Fairyfort story from the 1930s I sent them to the nearby listed site on the database and will take a look to see if it still stands at Flat Cemetery classification or if there is any archaeological evidence of a fort.

I am really excited to see how they get on looking at the possible crannóg sites!

NMS Calary Church Rath
Calary Church Rath
Calary church ramparts 7
Calary Church stones in ramparts
Calary Church ramparts 4
Calary Church entrance through ramparts.
Calary Church rath Schools Collection
Calary Church Ramth Schools Collection 3
Calary Church Rath Schools Collection 2.
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TWO POSSIBLE ROYAL CRANNÓG SITES?

 

The North and South possible Crannog sites are located very near the \Royal Meeting Place and Royal Highway of the Ui Briuin Cualann

 

26th January 2020:

I think I've just discovered a Fairy Moat and possibly a crannog at the back of the Glen of the Downs - at the top of the Red Lane. I wondered if it was a Fairy Ring of some sort - I showed Keith O'Bradaigh who suggested a moat & crannóg and then I found this reference to a Fairy Moat in the area in the Duchas School Collection from the 1930s!!!! The features aren't mentioned on the National Archaeological Survey Database but ruins of a polyagonal cist grave are. It looks like this may be a new find!!! How exciting! What an incredible place we live in!

(It's on private land and clearly carefully minded by the owners - so one of those special places to admire from afar - equally important that we know about our heritage so places like this don't disappear under concrete).

 

I kept coming across white and pinkish quartzite stones at the two possible crannóg sites. They seemed unusual as I haven't seen them lying around generally. When I mentioned it to dad he reminded me that Newgrange is faced in quartzite. (I put the stone back exactly where I found it after photographing - not taking any chances messing with the fairies)

There is a huge light coloured rock submerged on the North crannóg - nearest the path that connects with the South crannóg - could it be the foundation of the crannóg bridge? Or could it have spiritual significance?

 

 

 

 

 

moate 1.jpg
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North Moate

rock moate 2.jpg

Quartzite around the sites & rock in the water

moate 2.jpg

South Moate

Sutton's Moate Rath?

30 January 2020:Ring-fort Discovery Number 4 (Credit to my dad James Fortune for this one)

Two and a half miles from the Glen of the Downs as the crow flies - in Calary - once the Royal Seat of the Uí Bruin Cualann incorporating Coolagad Bronze Age Hillfort, Downshill Bronze Age Hillfort, the 2 possible Crannógs I recently discovered at Calary Upper and the Ring-fort under Calary churchyard that my dad and I discovered.

90 years ago all of these were known about in the area - as evidenced in the Dúchas Schools Collection from the 1930s which makes multiple reference to a total of 4 Ring-forts. This seems to me to be the one in Sutton's field - all are referenced numerous times in the School's Collection. The two in Byrne's field I believe could be the two Crannóg sites - "in view of each other".

Devastatingly, we are losing our heritage. I feel an urgent fear for our incredible ancient heritage and this is driving me on the past few months to do as much as I can to protect this sacred area before it is gone forever.  Oral history has died out - so no-one is remembering the importance of these monuments of our past.

Mythological wisdom prevented us in the past from destroying these ancient monuments - tales abounded if people who suffered sudden illness, accident or even death for interfering with a fairy-fort - just as fear of fairy revenge for harming the sceach (whitethorn) and strait (blackthorn) hedgerows. Our oral history prevented us from destroying our heritage for hundreds, even thousands of years. In the technological age all that respect is gone.

The Archaeological Survey of Ireland records a 'flat cemetery', on a 'natural hillock' on this site known as 'Sutton's Moate' where two urn burials were discovered in 1981. Bizarrely there is no mention that this is a rath as sadly the local knowledge of its importance must have been lost by then. It is very evident when standing in it that the banks are man-made and not features of a 'natural hillock' - there is also a clear opening in the rath.

Scroll left & right to view Gallery of Sutton's Moate Rath (Coleman's)

Sutton's Field Rath 2
Sutton's Field Rath 2

Sutton's Field Rath
Sutton's Field Rath

Suttons Field Rath
Suttons Field Rath

Sutton's Field Rath 2
Sutton's Field Rath 2

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Sutton's Field Rath.jpg

COOLNASKEAGH RINGFORT - DELGANY

Coolnaskeagh is a beautiful example of a ringfort and is further evidence of the importance of the area running from Greystones through the two Hillforts and the Glen of the Downs over to Calary. Coolnaskeagh Ringfort is located near the foot of Coolagad Hillfort. 

Coolnaskeagh Rath.png

A VERY SPECIAL PLACE:

Anyone exploring these sites will quickly become aware that it is no accident that our ancestors chose this location as their royal seat: before the age of intense farming practices and high density living, nature was all that was visible as far as the eye could see. Mountains, hills, wetlands, valleys and coastal views were the landmarks and the connection with all that was sacred. it is no accident that so many of the sites in the area align perfectly.  

 

Starting clockwise near Glencap on map is

1) Peak of Great Sugar loaf

2) Coolnaskeagh Ringfort

3) Coolagad Hillfort

4) Downshill Hillfort

5) Calary Churchyard Ringfort

6) Sutton's Moat Ringfort

7) Calary Upper Crannóg A

8) Calary Upper Crannóg B

In the centre:

9) Ritual Site and Holywell (ASI)

10) Very old graveyard (ASI)

KELLY'S FIELD RATH

Kelly's Field Rath.png

The Rath at Kelly's Field is situated along Ballydonnagh Lane, known in ancient times as Villa UDunecha - Donnchad, King of Brega and King of Bray's Home. Donnchad was son of Brian Boru, and half brother of Sitric Silkenbeard King of Dublin.