Kilcashel is a circular stone fort, also referred to in Irish as a caiseal. Its name is derived from the Anglicised version of the Irish ‘‘Coill an Chaisel’‘- the wood of the stone fort. It is situated just outside Ballaghaderreen town in Kilmovee village.
Kilcashel is dated to the Early Medieval Period. The fort is 30m in diameter, the stone wall is 5m thick and 3m high. It is believed that this fort was constructed for cultural reasons as it contains two chambers within its walls that show a perfect alignment at sunrise. A study was carried out on these chambers by Jon Grainger.
The first solar alignment is a week before Halloween which could have signified the importance of the ancient festival of Samhain or Halloween. The second occurs in February when the sun lights up the chamber for three days, possibly celebrating the start of a new season, in ancient times this spring festival was referred to as Imbolc. Both of these chambers are accessed by V-shaped steps built within the cashels walls. Other features within the fort are the remains of two house sites and a souterrain. As a visitor you can appreciate the beauty of this fort, the hard work that went into building it and its importance to the past people of Kilmovee. Archaeological work has been carried out here since 2009 and is still in progress.
Please be aware that it is located on private property, Beware of any livestock in the fields and close any and all gates after use.