First came the hunters, followed then by the farmers. What happened next? Next came the warriors - tall, muscular, blue-eyed, fair-haired, war-like, pagans from mainland Europe. Who were these people? They were known as the Celts.
|No public access per se.|
|HOW TO GET THERE|
|Take the b10 Scarva Road from Banbridge to Scarva. Turn left onto Fir Tree Lane. Fir Tree Lane cuts through the Dane's Cast.|
|The ditch is heavily overgrown in places & is not clearly visible|
ehsni Historic Monuments:
Built around the time of Christ, the Dane's Cast is one of a series of Iron Age earthworks running from South Down to North Sligo. Known as the Dane's Cast in counties Armagh and Down, the Dorsey in Co. Armagh, the Black Pig's Dyke in Co. Monaghan and the Worm Ditch in Co. Cavan, these monuments are discontinuous lines of bank and ditch. It is likely that a wooden fence formed part of the bank. They connect together with natural obstacles - lakes, bogs, mountains - (e.g. Lough Muckno - the lake where the pig swims) to form a defence of sorts. They probably acted as territorial boundaries or as an obstacle to cattle thieves and stand as testament to the unstable nature of Iron Age Ireland.
The Dane's Cast consists of a substantial bank of earth and stone. It commences in the townland of Scarva (from the Irish scairbh, meaning a 'rugged shallow ford') and extends 2km until it gradually disappears in the townland of Aghayalloge.
In the townland of Killyfaddy, Co. Armagh, the Dane's Cast is known locally as 'The Hog's Back' and is said to be haunted by a ghostly pig. Folklore warns of ill-luck for those who interfere with these banks
|A section of the ditch can be accessed directly from the road|
|Wheelchair accessible when viewing from the road|
|HOW TO GET THERE|
|The particular section looked at was 2km North East of Cullyhanna|
|The site is located on the main road from Newtownhamilton to Dundalk. Turn off for Cullyhanna over a stone bridge. The ditch is on the far side of the bridge|
The Dorsey is an extensive earthwork which runs through the South Armagh area and is part of a series of Iron Age earthworks, which run roughly across south Ulster. It extends for 4km and comprises banks, ditches and a wooden palisade (fence). Oak from this fence has been dated to between 140-90 BC. It is possible that these barriers were used to control movement of people and cattle (the source of wealth at this time).
Interestingly, the timber used to construct the Dorsey comes from the same period as the timber used in Emain Macha (Navan Fort, see p.30). It has been suggested that there may have been a link between the two sites. Ulaidh, at this time, may have been at its strongest and it is believed that the Dorsey functioned as a fortified frontier post to the kingdom, the capital of which was Emain Macha. Dorsey derives from the Irish Na Doirse meaning 'the gateways' which might suggest that rather than barring access to Ulaidh, it controlled access into the kingdom.
|The site is 200m uphill on
the right. The site is an old
graveyard and, as such, is
uneven, with buried grave
markers and long grass in the
|Car park, Interpretation Panel|
|HOW TO GET THERE|
|Faughart Hill lies just to the north of Dundalk, From the Dundalk North junction, head north on a minor road. Once under the bridge, turn immediately right. After 600m, take to road to the left.|
|Hill of Faughart, Dundalk, County Louth|
The whole top of this hill was a hill fort in Iron Age times. Later, Faughart is believed to have been the birthplace of St. Brighid (453 ad) - the patron saint of Ireland's blacksmiths, cattle and dairy workers. The site comprises a small mediaeval church in ruins, St. Brigid's bed, St. Brigid's Pillar (possibly the foundations of a round tower) and St. Brigid's Well (a place of pilgrimage for locals).
Because of its strategic position, Faughart has been the site of many important battles in Irish history. In 732, the King of Ulaidh, Aedh Roin, was defeated by the Northern Uí Néill and his head was cut off on the 'Stone of Decapitation' (Cloch an Commaigh) which is located near the door of the old church.
In 1318, Edward Bruce (brother of Robert, King of Scotland) made a bid for the kingship of Ireland and suffered a major defeat at Faughart. He was also decapitated and his headless body, it is said, is buried in the graveyard. His head was sent to the English King Edward II in London. Wonderful views to the Gap of the North (County Armagh), over Dundalk and its bay, the Cooley mountains and Slieve Gullion and the whole north-eastern quarter of the Republic.
|Site is reached by a right of way across a field|
|HOW TO GET THERE|
|Take the B10 Scarva Road from Banbridge to Scarva. Turn left onto Lisnagade Road. Lisnagade Fort is situated on the right along the road. To reach Lisnavaragh Fort head back in the direction of the B10, turn left before reaching the B10 onto the Lisnavaragh Road. Lisnavaragh Fort is situated on the left along the Lisnavaragh Road.|
|ehsni Historic Monuments:
t: 028 9054 3037 f: 028 9054 3111 Waterman House, 5-33 Hill St., Belfast, County Antrim, bt1 2la. e: firstname.lastname@example.org Banbridge Tourist Information Centre:
t: 028 4062 3322 e: email@example.com
Lisnagade Rath is one of the most extensive and best-preserved hillforts of its kind. Typically these forts were used as dwelling places, and would have contained one or more houses. Lisnagade dates from around 350 ad, is a trivallate ringfort, meaning it has three banks with two intervening ditches, called fosses. The banks measure up to 6m in height and the outer ring is 110m in diameter. The size might indicate that a chieftain of wealth and power resided here. A number of silver coins, a brass cauldron and spearheads have been found at the site.
Townlands commonly get their name from ancient dwellings within them, such as the Irish dún meaning 'hill fort', ráth and lios meaning 'earthen fort' and caiseal meaning 'stone fort'. Lisnagade derives from the Irish Lios na gCead meaning 'fort of the hundred. This fort has a commanding view of the surrounding landscapes, from which a great number of forts can be seen. It supposedly got its name by being the chief, or centre, of a hundred other forts. Nearby are traces of the Dane's Cast
There are 45,000 ringforts throughout Ireland. In Ulster they are densest in counties Antrim, Armagh and Down.