Rathcroghan (Cruachan), an enigmatic landscape shrouded in myth and legend, an ancient capital strewn with the burials of long forgotten heroes and kings.
There is something undeniably magical about Rathcroghan. Here is a landscape that still retains its integrity and power, untouched and majestic. Many ancient sites allude to being in their original state but have in fact been disturbed by archaeologists and developers, fortunately Rathcroghan is different.
Whether you are a spiritual pilgrim, a student of myth and legend or simply looking for a place to feel grounded and at one with the land Rathcroghan has something for you.
Continual habitation over six thousand years from the neolithic period, through the bronze and iron ages and up to the present day has left us with a land that is only now beginning to reveal its story.
Rathcroghan is the burial place of king Daithi the last of the pagan kings. It is also home to queen Medb who featured in the Tain Bo Cuailnge (the cattle raid of Cooley). This early epic started and finished right here at Rathcroghan.
Click on the link below to hear a condensed version of the story.
There are over 60 registered monuments and hundreds more visible throughout this glacial landscape such as Relig na Ri (burial place of the kings), Rathmore, Rathbeag, and the mysteriously placed stone known as Misgaun Medb.
Rathcroghan is also home to Oweynagat - the cave of the cats. This cave has various names such as the entrance to the otherworld, and is home to numerous Celtic deities. This is the place where most visitors find their connection with the land, within the womb of mother earth.
Visitors can also see Rath na dTarbh (the fort of the bulls) and Ogulla holy well where Saint Patrick baptised the daughters of King Laoghaire.
Apart from the abundance of mythology, history, archaeology and spirituality associated with the area there is a palpable energy coursing through the land. Anyone who has doused or divined the many energy lines running through Rathcroghan will testify to this. If on your visit you would like to try this for yourself, your tour guide Mike Croghan would be delighted to lend you a set of rods and point you in the right direction.
Close by are Carnfree, the inauguration site for the O'Conor dynasty and the multi ringed fort of Rathra.
Mike works closely with the Sacred Site Tours group, a network of like minded guides dedicated to introducing you to the sites in a spiritual and special way, showing you what most other tour guides and guide books don't even know exists. To see how the Sacred Site Tours group can enhance your experience in Ireland please visit www.sacredsitetours.info
Relig na Ri, burial place of the kings. Photo by Gerry Bracken
Mike is from the last Croghan family still living on Rathcroghan. He is an experienced tour guide and archaeologist with an in depth knowledge of the history, archaeology, mythology and spirituality of the area.
Mike currently heads the Rathkineely Archaeological Survey Project, funded by the Heritage Council and Roscommon County Council.
All tours are tailored to suit the individual or party, please contact Mike for details.
If you are visiting the Boyne Valley and Newgrange we highly recommend Anthony Murphy at Mythical Ireland, please visit www.mythicalireland.com
Thank you to the landowners of Rathcroghan for allowing Rathcroghan Tours access to the sites.