Slieve Breagh is an ENE-WSW ridge (L of summit c. 500m) that is part of an NE-SW line of hills which extends from Rathkenny, Co. Meath almost to Dunleer, Co. Louth (L c. 15km). There are a number of summit ridges with high cols between them. Breagh is derived from Brega (the heights) which is also the name of the Meath territory. The E end of this summit and much of its S face in Creewood townland is now 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 a few raths as well as some hut-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 with furze it is not possible to examine them closely to tease out any sequence of monument construction. This barrow (No. 5) is located on a lower shoulder at the W extent of the complex within the uncultivated area. It is described as a circular mound (diam. c. 5m) defined by a shallow fosse (Wth of top 2.5-4m; D c. 0.5m) and an outer bank (at NW: Wth of base c. 5m; ext. H c. 1m). It is to the NW of the central barrow (No. 6) of this cluster (max. ext. diam. c. 15m), and a feature that could be a hut site is in the interior (ibid. 100, No. 5).
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: 5 August 2022
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage