Ardagh Ring Fort

Ardagh Ring fort

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Name Ardagh Ring fort County Limerick Nearest Town Rathkeale Access Road N21 About Ardagh Ring fort is best known as the site of the finding of the Ardagh chalice, now in the National Museum of Ireland.

This is a ring fort with a high bank and deep ditch to the north and south.

It appears that the east and west sides were never completed.

The Ardagh Chalice, which ranks with the Book of Kells as one of the finest known works of Insular art, indeed of Celtic Art in general, is thought to have been made in the 8th century AD.

The large, two-handled silver cup, decorated with gold, gilt bronze, brass, lead pewter and enamel, has been assembled from 354 separate pieces.

The names of the apostles are incised in a frieze around the bowl, below a girdle bearing inset gold wirework panels of animals, birds, and geometric interlace.

It was found in 1868, together with a small bronze cup and four brooches, by two boys, Jim Quinn and Paddy Flanagan, digging in a potato field on the south-western side of a rath (ring fort) called Reerasta, beside the village of Ardagh, near Rathkeale County Limerick.

It had a bronze cup within it, and four ornate brooches.

Buried without the least protection as they were, the pieces must have been interred in a hurry.