Located at the summit of a NW-SE ridge. This is a raised and grass-covered circular platform (diam. 44m ENE-WSW; 40m NNW-SSE) defined by a scarp (at NNW: Wth 7m; H c. 4m) separated by a fosse (at NNW: Wth of top 9m; Wth of base c. 2m; ext. D c. 2.5m) from an earthen bank (at NNW: Wth of base c. 8m; ext. H c. 2.5m) S-W-NE. The fosse and bank have been removed by ancient quarrying E-S. There is a second external fosse (at SW: Wth of top c. 6m; ext. D 2m) and an external bank (Wth of base c. 6m; ext. H c. 1.5m) outside the inner bank SSE-WNW. A large quarry (diam. c. 10m; int. D c. 1m) has been excavated at the centre of the platform with the grass-covered upcast forming a bank (ext. H c. 0.5m) around its edge. There is a ramp entrance through the inner (Wth of base 9m) and outer (Wth of base 3.5m) banks with causeways across the inner (Wth of top 2.3m; H 1.25m) and outer (Wth of top 3.2m; H 1.1m) fosses and onto the platform (Wth of base 1.5m) at WNW, but it may be a recent entrance, the original being destroyed by the quarrying at SE (max. ext. diam. c. 80m). This could be a large barrow of the stepped variety, or a platform rath.
This earthwork is likely to be the Dun Cuair of the annals which was on the borders of Meath and Leinster. In AD 799 Áed Oirnidhe, of the Cenél nEógan Uí Neill, marched on Dun Cuair with the clergy of the north of Ireland, who were so disgruntled that they won an exemption from attendance at any future military excursions (AFM). In AD 800 and again in AD 815 the same Áed Oirnidhe went to Dun Cuar and made a settlement that divided Leinster between contending parties (AFM). (Wilde 1849, 74-5)
Archaeological testing (05E0627) by R. Meenan immediately to the S produced evidence of a ditch (Wth of top 1.4m plus; D 1.1m plus) close to the road, and a spread of burnt clay overlying the subsoil. The ditch was filled with a brown clay and produced some bone but no artefacts, and neither a date nor context can be ascribed to it (excavation.ie 2005:1236).
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 revision: 13 August 2019
Amended: 16 February 2021
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.