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. 31) is located on the crest of the summit ridge in the uncultivated land. It is a slightly raised circular area (diam. c. 25m NW-SE) defined by an earthen bank (Wth of base 3-4m; int. H 0.2m; ext. H c. 0.5m) and slight evidence of an external fosse (at SE: Wth of top 4m; D c. 0.3m). The perimeter is clipped by a N-S field bank and townland boundary with Creewood at E and an ENE-WSW one at S. It is described as amongst the large ring-barrows by de Paor and Ó h-Eochaidhe (1956, 100, No. 31) but is probably a rath.
This monument is subject to a preservation order made under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014 (PO no. 11/1956), and is in state ownership, No. 596.
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