Hillforts in the Greystones Area

Rathcoran Fort in County Wicklow

Hillforts Introduction

Hillforts are the largest monumental constructions of the Bronze Age and Iron age in Europe. It is a physical demarcation of a large space to which access was controlled by physical barriers. This barrier was achieved by natural and artificial means, where one or more lines of earthworks, stone walls or timber palisades were built individually or in combination to take advantage of elevation and topography.


This sub oval shaped hillfort is located at the edge of the Glen of the Downs, west of Delgany village on a site commanding great views through the glen. The hillfort has a total area of 6.6 ha. The enclosing elements comprise a stone faced earthen bank of approximately 5 m wide and up to 1.6 m high, it has a 4 m wide external ditch which was discovered at the south east of the hillfort during ploughing. The interior is severely damaged due to forestry felling. A trial excavation was carried out at the hillfort in 2007 by University College Dublin.


The Hillfort of Coolagad is located north west of Greystones Town centre in the townland of Kindlestown Upper. This circular hillfort has a total footprint of 28.2 ha. The Rampart of the hillfort has survived the best of the whole structure. The majority of the interior is under mature forestry.


O’Brien, William and O’Driscoll, James;  Hillforts, Welfare and Society in Bronze age Ireland, Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, 2017.

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