Rathnadarve, Ring-Barrow, Glenballythomas, Co. Roscommon.

Location – From Rathbeg keep driving for about half a km and it is on your right and signposted.
OS: M 794 836 (map 33)
Longitude: 8° 18' 42.08" W
Latitude: 53° 48' 7.23" N
GPS: M 79466 83655 (Accuracy: 5m)
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – This barrow is absolutely huge! I had no idea that barrows could be so big. From bank to bank it is 85m wide. Apart from its huge size it is a pretty standard ring-barrow with a bank and fosse. The centre is raised and there is a causewayed entrance on the N side. There are several breaks in the bank which may be recent and the modern road on the SE side has destroyed part of the barrow. Known as the ‘fort of the bulls’ this barrow in Irish mythology is where a battle between the bulls of the Tain Bo Cuailnge. The battle was between Donn Cuailnge who entered the area after the death of Cuchulainn. The bull, Finn Bennach challenged him and they fought so fiercely that the sky was darkened with all the soil being thrown into the air. Eventually Donn Cuailnge won the battle and shook Finn Bennach to pieces. This monument is very impressive.

Difficulty – There is no parking here and the entrance is obscured by a bush...but it is there.

For more sites at the Rathcroghan complex, click here.
For more barrows, cairns and tumuli, click here.
For more sites in Co. Roscommon, click here.
The width of the bank is enough to walk on. The monument is too big to photograph in one shot so you will have to make do with little snippets.
The central mound of the barrow.
Looking from the central mound to the outer bank.
There are many gaps in the bank like this where it has been dug through.
As with all the other nearby sites Rath Cruachan is visible.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map

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