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Huntington Castle & Rathgall Hillfort

Another quick post and video with both places we visited a couple of weeks ago.

Huntington Castle and Rathgall Hillfort are two historical sites located in County Carlow, Ireland. Both places have rich histories that date back several centuries.

Huntington Castle, also known as Clonegal Castle, is a fortified manor house situated near the village of Clonegal. It was built in the early 17th century by the Esmonde family, who were prominent landowners in the region. The castle has undergone several modifications over the years, blending different architectural styles such as Gothic and Jacobean. It features impressive gardens and a unique yew tree walk. Huntington Castle remains privately owned but is open to the public, offering visitors a glimpse into its fascinating past.

Rathgall Hillfort, on the other hand, is an ancient archaeological site located near the village of Rathvilly, approximately 10 kilometers from Huntington Castle. It is one of Ireland's largest hillforts and dates back to the Late Bronze Age, around 800-700 BC. The hillfort occupies a strategic position on a hilltop, providing its inhabitants with a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. It consists of multiple concentric earthwork enclosures, indicating a sophisticated defensive system. Excavations have revealed evidence of human occupation, including houses and artifacts.

Throughout its history, Rathgall Hillfort witnessed various phases of habitation and cultural changes. It served as a defensive stronghold, a settlement, and potentially a ceremonial site. The hillfort was likely abandoned by the end of the Iron Age as societal structures shifted. Today, the site remains an important archaeological landmark, attracting visitors interested in Ireland's ancient past.

Both Huntington Castle and Rathgall Hillfort offer valuable insights into different periods of Irish history. While the castle showcases the architectural and social aspects of the 17th century, the hillfort represents a glimpse into the lives and activities of Bronze and Iron Age communities. Together, they contribute to the historical richness of County Carlow, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate Ireland's diverse heritage.

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