Slieve Breagh, also called Slieve na gCearc in the past according to the OS letters (Herity 2001, 46), is an ENE-WSW ridge (L of summit c. 500m) that is part of an ENE-WSW line of hills with high cols between the summit ridges that extends from Rathkenny, Co. Meath, to Clogher Head. Breagh is derived from Brega (the heights) which is also the name of the Meath territory but the meaning of Cearc is uncertain. The E end of this summit and much of its S face in Creewood townland is reclaimed pasture but the remainder in Rathbranchurch is unchanged from the 1836 edition of the OS 6-inch map and preserves a collection of earthwork monuments, consisting mostly of barrows and raths as well as some hut-sites and house-sites that were recorded in the 1950s (de Paor and Ó h-Eochaidhe 1956).
The earthworks sometimes impinge on each other, but as the area is now largely overgrown it is not possible to examine them closely in order to determine the sequence of monument construction. This barrow (1) was located on a lower shoulder at the W extent of the complex and within the cultivated area. It was characterised as a low mound defined by a fosse and outer bank (ext. diam. c. 5m) (ibid. 100) but its visible profile was not discernible in 1984 (SMR file).
This monument is subject to a preservation order made under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014 (PO no. 11/1956).
See the attached plan of the monuments from dePaor and Ó h-Eochaidhe 1956, fig. 2
The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of upload: 10 July 2007
Amended: 3 August 2022
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage