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History of Rathangan

According to an anonymous poem translated into English by Kuno Meyer, a list of rulers of Uí Failge (Offaly) may have lived in the Rath: Bruidge, Cathal, Árd, Ailill, Conaing, Cuiline and Maeldúin.

“The fort remains after each in his turn and the kings asleep in the ground”

Monastic Settlements

Lullymore is an island of rich, fertile land surrounded by the Bog of Allen. In ancient times, it was linked to a smaller mineral island, Lullybeg, by a toger, or wooden oak road. Lullymore = Lilach Mór: Lilach means a cow that calved, or a milch cow, or “a place with good grass”. Lullymore, Lullybeg and Shanavaola (Booley) were places of safety for cattle against foreign raiders. Lullymore was also a safe haven in penal times for a monastic settlement. St. Erc, judge to St. Patrick, founded a monastery at Lullymore. His establishment there continued to flourish for centuries after his death. It was frequented by foreigners as well as natives. The foundation can still be seen in the graveyard which remains in Lullymore. St. Patrick visited Lullymore, and his footprint can be seen here. There is a baptismal font octagonal in shape at the far end of the graveyard. St. Erc and St. Brigid are patron saints of Kildare and Leighlin. St. Patrick composed this verse for St. Erc;

“Bishop Erc,

Everything he adjudged was just,

Everyone that passes a just judgement shall receive the blessing of Bishop Erc.”