The Cooley Mountains

The Brown Bull of Cúailnge, Donn Cúailnge, is kept in the Cooley Mountains at MacFiachna's house. More likely than not, the bull would have been kept in a stone enclosure or fort, much like Staigue Fort pictured below.

          Staigue Fort is one of the largest and finest forts in Ireland and was probably built in the early centuries AD before Christianity came to Ireland. It has been speculated that the fort must have been the home of a very wealthy landowner or chieftain who had a great need for security.
          A mortarless wall, up to six metres high and four metres thick, encloses a space of over seven hundred square metres. Several near -vertical masonry joints are visible in the wall, and these may indicate that the fort was built in stages rather than in one continuous operation. The fort can be entered through a narrow passage in the wall capped by a lintel, as seen below.
          The fort would have been the home of the chieftain’s family, guards, and servants, and would have been full of houses, outbuildings, and possibly tents or other temporary structures, though none of the buildings remain. The top wall can be reached by a series of steps that criss-cross against the inside of the wall. In addition to the height and thickness of the walls, the earthen bank and ditch around the fort gave further protection against potential aggressors.

The stones on the right side of the entranceway are a modern edition, used to keep the sheep out; they are not a part of the original structure.



Send Question or Comment