In archeology Rath called (Irish Rath, or portfolios ) a Iron Age or older Irish earthwork. Raths (called therefore engl. Ringfort ) often circular or oval and vary in size. Diameter of 20 m are common, but they can also be 100 m deviate (2005 unearthed at Derry in Northern Ireland) and in individual cases, to the square ( Rath of Corliss ). They are also called "Fairy fort" ( Feenburg ), indicating a religious significance as Temene.


A typical Rath has about 35 m in diameter and is surrounded by a four -meter wide and two meters high earthen rampart with a moat. A dam interrupts the trench, resulting in a gap in the wall. Since Raths were often built in weak slopes, the inner terrain often falls off towards the entrance. The internal features basement can include and traces of houses, which are visible as light increases. In the whole of Ireland about 280 of these ring forts were excavated 1930-2005.

Among the variants of the council include investments with multiple ramparts and ditches ( manure Lady in County Londonderry and Lisnagade and Lisnavaragh in County Down ) and a few with formal adjustments to the natural terrain. Raths occasionally occur in groups or they affect themselves. This, together with the multiple Umwallungen they show characteristics that are also observed in Duns, Henges and stone circles.

One of the variants has an inner moat, which can pass a one meter or less high platform in the interior. Another variant is the sublime Rath, a hill of up to four meters in height on the inside. It was created as a kind of moth that is difficult to distinguish without excavation of the later Cambro -Norman systems. Some Raths bear the anglicized name " Fort " in the name. Tullaghoge Fort in County Tyrone is a Rath, who was in the 11th century Inauguration place of Cenél nEógain (later the O'Neills ). Here resided the O'Hagans who carried out the inaugurations with the O'Cahans.

M. Stout published the dendrochronological data of 114 ring forts and several related in touch with them Crannogs and basements. First ring forts are created in the Bronze Age. However, the focus is between 600 and 1000 AD Its construction completed around 1300 AD The data for Crannogs are 550-750 AD

The Rath Laoghaire, the Rath of the Synods and the Rath Meave are the famous council of Tara.


Similar to the Dun (eg in Dunguaire Castle), the stone version of Rath, a number Irish places the term " counsel " or the same mean term " Lis " ( Lisnagade Rath, Rath Lisnavaragh ) as a prefix in the name:

  • Rathkeltair, County Down
  • Iceland Rathlin, County Antrim
  • Rathmore County Kerry
  • Rathmore, ( Clogher ) County Tyrone
  • Rathmore, County Antrim
  • Rathmullan, County Donegal
  • Rathmullan Rath and Motte, County Down
  • Rathtrillick, County Armagh
  • Rathturret, County Down
  • Also duplication of " lis" and " doon " (when ( Lisdoonvarna ) or " caher " and " doon " ( = Dun Doon ) (at Caherdooneerish ) occur.