Rathgall Hillfort in County Wicklow

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I am directionally challenged.  Even on the best of days, when the sun is rising or setting, I can have difficulty knowing east from west.  So a cloudy Irish day can really set me backward- even with a sat nav (gps) to help guide my way.

Which is how I found myself on a small road after leaving the Chocolate Garden of Ireland

Rathgall Hillfort

If you turn right from the Chocolate Garden on R275, then take your next left, you'll find the Rathgall Hillfort, also known as the Ring of Rath.  Even as tired as we were after an overnight flight and an active day, I just can't bypass a hillfort.

Entry to Rathgall Hillfort, County Wicklow, Ireland
Entry to Rathgall Hillfort

With only a bit of gravel drive to serve as parking, you want to pull as far off the road as you can when you visit and check for oncoming traffic before getting out of your car.  Your approach follows a farm path with a couple fences and wooden stiles for crossing.

The outer earth and stone banks helped defend this hill fort.  The outer banks are thought to be prehistoric, while the innermost dry stone circle is dated in the Medieval period.

Earth and stone banks at Rathgall Hillfort, Wicklow, Ireland
Earth and stone banks helped protect the Rathgall Hillfort

Overseen by the OPW, the site is free to visit.  Excavation took place in the 1970s, but doesn't seem to be continuing at this time.  Only a single sign, with very little information, marks the site.

Ring of Rath Hill Fort, Wicklow, Ireland
The innermost ring is built of dry stone; no mortar holds these stones in place.

If you find yourself in the area, the Rathgall Hillfort will enchant you.  My girls say the faeries live here.

Ring of Rath Hill Top Fort, Wicklow, Ireland
Earth and stone bank at Rathgall Hillfort

Who am I to argue?

Jody Halsted
Follow Along


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