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Ballywiheen facts for kids

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Bhaile Uí Bhaoithín · Raingiléis
Ruined church and burial ground at Ballywiheen - - 220017.jpg
Stone church
Ballywiheen is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Monastery information
Established 6th century AD
Diocese Ardfert and Aghadoe
Status ruined
Style Celtic
Location Ballywiheen, Ballyferriter, County Kerry
Coordinates 52°09′32″N 10°24′25″W / 52.158792°N 10.40702°W / 52.158792; -10.40702
Visible remains church
Public access yes
National Monument of Ireland
Official name Ballywiheen Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Site; Cathair na gCat Cashel & Ogham Stone
Reference no. 221.2425

Ballywiheen is a medieval Christian site and National Monument located on the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland.


Ballywiheen is located 800 m (half a mile) south of Ballyferriter, on the south side of Croaghmarhin mountain.


There was an early Christian settlement here, also called Raingiléis.

The Ogham stone was erected as a grave marker c. AD 500–550. In the 1880s it was broken open in search of gold.

Excavations in 1998 turned up a stone lamp and flint scraper.


Ancient Christian site (Lathair Luathre Chriostai) - - 219843
The cross slab (foreground) and ruined oratory.
Ruined church and burial ground at Ballywiheen - - 220018
View of the church and burial ground.

Ballywiheen is surrounded by an enclosure 68 m (223 ft) in diameter. In the eastern part are the remains of an early drystone oratory. To the west are two mounds — these mark the location of two leachtaí (stone altars).

There is also a cross slab (decorated with Maltese cross), grave mounds (suggestive of a calluragh burial ground).

There is also a stone cross 123 cm (four feet) in height.

Cathair na gCat

The name Cathair na gCat means "the cat's stone fort" (the "cat" referred to is possibly the "tree cat", i.e. the pine marten.) This is a stone fort (cashel) located immediately south of Ballywiheen Christian site. It contains two stone huts and a possible souterrain.

The Ogham stone (dated to the early 6th century AD) reads TOGITTACC MAQI SAGARET[TOS], "of Toicthech son of Sáraid."

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