Lisnamintry Rath ~ An Early Christian Settlement

Lisnamintry Rath

Lisnamintry Rath is situated on the Ballygargen Road, between Lylo and Bleary in Craigavon. It is about 3 miles from Lurgan town. The pathway to the Rath is well kept by Craigavon Borough Council.

The Rath at Lisnamintry is classified as an early Christian Rath or farm settlement, dating from 500 - 1000AD and would have been a site of major importance. It is sited on the summit of a low hill, interspersed with trees, the earthwork still displays much of the original apparent intricacy of the settlement. This Rath or homestead, would most likely have had a wooden defence surrounded by a ditch.

From (possibly) the late Iron Age to early Christian times, the island's occupants built circular structures with earth banks or ditches. These were sometimes topped with wooden palisades and wooden framed buildings. As the dwellings were not durable, in many cases only vague circular marks. Sometimes known as Fairy forts (also known as lios or raths from the Irish, referring to an earthen mound) are the remains of stone circles, ringforts, hillforts, or other circular prehistoric dwellings in Ireland.

It is estimated that there are over 45,000 ringforts in Ireland, making them the most common ancient monument on the Island. The majority were occupied between 600–900AD. The earliest ringforts date from the 5th century, while others were occupied until as late as the 13th century. Their function was to protect small settlements consisting of a family, their workers and livestock against raids. They would have been effective at repelling the lightning cattle raids that were common during the Early Christian period in Ireland (c.400-1200AD).

The Rath was built around 500 AD and inhabited by early Christians. The Rath has the same characteristics as the older Hill Forts in the area. The settlement was surrounded by many ditches for protection against any marauders who would try to plunder or attack it. The Rath is also situated on high ground, like many hill forts. This would have given the settlers the advantage if they were attacked, as well as, the sellters being able to see an enemies from a fair distance.

It is the only Monument in State care in the Borough of Craigavon, protected and managed as a public asset by the Environment and Heritage Service.

The information on this website is free and will always be so. However, there are many documents and records that we would like to show here that are only available for sale. If you would like to make a donation to the Lurgan Ancestry project, however small (or large!), to enable us to acquire these records, it would be very much appreciated. We could cover our pages in Goggle Ads to raise money, but feel that this would detract from the information we are trying to provide. You can also help us to raise money by purchasing some of our ebooks on our sister website:

The Lurgan Ancestry Project is a not for profit website, all monies raised from the site go back into it. Genealogy Ebooks is our sister website and takes payments on our behalf.

View our Sitemap Site Map

Home  |   Census |  Griffiths  | Directories  | Gravestones |  Photos  |  Links  | Forum |  History  | Contact Us