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 feature (No. 16) is located on uncultivated land on the summit of the ridge at the centre of the complex. It is a circular grass-covered area (diam. c. 34m NE-SW) defined by a slight earthen bank (at SW: Wth of base 6m; int. H 0.5m; ext. H 1.2m) and a slight external fosse (at SW: ext. D c. 0.2m). The entrance is not identified but it appears to be conjoined with the rath (No. 19) to the NE and it may have truncated the ring-barrow (No. 14) to the SW. (de Paor and Ó h-Eochaidhe 1956, 100, No. 16)
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 de Paor 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