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The Plain of Blood
A Study of the Ritual Landscape of Magh Slecht, Co. Cavan

By Kevin White

This thesis is a study of the landscape of Magh Slecht, Co. Cavan. This area contains over 30 prehistoric monuments in an area measuring 5km by 5km, something unseen in the rest of Co. Cavan. The area was the legendary centre of worship of the chief pre-Christian deity of Crom Cruach until St. Patrick and Christianity arrived in the 5th Century. It is the author’s belief that Magh Slecht is an unidentified minor “Royal” site. Through analysis of Medieval literary sources and a study of the monuments of the area it is hoped by the author that this will be proved. A geophysical survey was carried out at the hilltop enclosure site of Derryragh, the hypothesised focal point of Magh Slecht and location of Crom Cruach’s idols.
The geophysical survey disproved the theory that Derryragh is the location of Crom Cruach’s idol. The author firmly believes the aniconic stone, the Killycluggin Stone might have been perceived as Crom Cruach’s idol. The geophysical survey did produce evidence of a palisaded enclosure with a funnel entrance, a feature that is present at many of the major “Royal sites”. The analysis of the literary sources and the monuments of the area presents a strong case that Magh Slecht is a minor “Royal” site and it is the author’s conclusion that Magh Slecht actually is.

The thesis is large (9 MB) and is available to download as a PDF here





Last update: 16 August, 2013 10:02