Guide to Waterford Monuments



Promontory Forts


Coastal Promontory Forts are monuments which most likely date to the late Prehistoric period, such as the Iron Age with the ones found in Waterford bearing much similarities to those in Britain and Brittany in northern France.

All consist of a fortification of the landward side by a bank and fosse of a naturally defensive sea promontory. Access to the interior was usually provided by a causeway across these defences.

Waterford was particularly suited to the building of such defences and the remains of 19 examples survive with nearly all suited sites utilised. Of the Promontory Forts found along the Waterford coastline, the site at Dunabrattin (above) is the largest, covering an area of around 6 hectares. The forts are commonly indictaed in place names by the inclusion of ‘Dún’ which is the Irish word for Fort or fortress.

Examples of stone built forts are most common on the western Atlantic coast of Ireland with one of the most notable being that of Dun Aengus on the Arran Islands.Of the 300 or so Irish promontory forts only a few have to date  have been excavated.