SMR No.: ME031-033009-, ME031-033010-

Monument Type: Ringfort - rath, Barrow - unclassified

The Forradh ('Ceremonial Seat') and Teach Cormaic ('Cormac's House') consist of two conjoined earthworks. Teach Cormaic, regarded in the medieval period as being the royal residence of the heroic king of Tara, Cormac mac Airt, may be a ringfort consisting of a circular area (about 70m in diameter) defined by two banks and an intervening ditch. The original entrance is in the northeast and is aligned on the eastern entrance to Ráith na Rí. Slightly off-centre is a low mound with a small hollow in the middle which may be the foundations of a house or perhaps the outline of a small barrow. Teach Cormaic is attached to the east side of the Forradh.

The Forradh consists of a prominent, flat-topped mound surrounded by a ditch with two outer banks and an intervening ditch. It is possible to suggest three phases in its development. Before the present monument was built there may have been up to three small barrows here, arranged in the form of an equilateral triangle. When the large central mound and the middle bank were built the three barrows were incorporated into the bank. Two of them are clearly visible, one as a prominent protrusion in the north-eastern quadrant, the second as a small round-topped mound in the south-eastern quadrant. This may be Múr Tea, ‘Tea’s wall’, the reputed burial place of a mythical queen, described in the medieval account as being a little hillock located between the Forradh and Cormac’s royal residence. The third is evidenced as a bulge or widening of the bank in the western quadrant. The outer bank is considerably narrower than the inner bank and appears to have been a later addition. It seems to be an extension of the outer bank of Teach Cormaic, the result, perhaps, of a deliberate attempt to associate this clearly important burial complex with a possible later habitation.

A stone pillar in the centre of the Forradh is said to be the Lia Fáil. Although this identification is unlikely, it is clear from the stone's phallic shape that it is a fertility symbol that may have been associated with an inauguration ceremony. Early literature places the Lia Fáil in a recumbent position near the Mound of the Hostages. The present stone marks the grave of those who fell in the 1798 rebellion and has a small cross and the letters RIP carved into it. It is white granite and may have been quarried from outcrops in the north of Ireland, the nearest source being at Newry, County Down.

DIscovery Programme Logo White Landscape ENGLISH

DIscovery Programme Logo White Landscape IRISH




3D icons Logo


Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht