Ballymartin Rath and Souterrain

Map Reference: M245601 (1245, 2601)

County Mayo has many raths, some of which have souterrains. However many of them are not conveniently situated or may be thickly overgrown making exploration difficult. The rath in Ballymartin is very close to the main road and has only a few thorn bushes growing on it. Sheep grazing keeps the grass fairly low. It is quite a small rath being less than 30m diameter. The platform is saucer-shaped with a good inner bank. This is fairly high, particularly on the west side.

Near the base of the bank is the entrance to a souterrain. This is formed by a roof collapse and separate parts of the souterrain can be seen running east and west. It is not possible to enter the eastern section of the souterrain. The western portion can be entered, but only by a thin active person. I entered the souterrain in 1983 and I have included one photograph from that time.

The other photographs were taken in 2007 by reaching inside, pressing the button and hoping for the best.

They show the roof lintels and some of the corbelling very clearly. The rath has a good ditch, particularly on the west side, and outside this are remains of a substantial bank.

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