Cultivation ridges

Slieve Aughty ridges

Christy Cunniffe

Cultivation ridges
Christy Cunniffe

One of the most numerous and obvious field monuments encountered in the landscape of Galway are the relic cultivation ridges. Many belong to the post famine period but some are also likely to be of medieval date. They consist of lines of raised earthen beds with a channel in between and were used for the growing of cereals and potatoes depending on their ages. Some of the cereal ridges can be up to 2 metres across. Nearly all follow the natural slope of ground taking advantage of the natural drainage provided. Many are regarded as a legacy of the Great Famine when the potato crop rotted in the ground and people starved as a consequence. Therefore, they have a potent symbolism for some. Those in uplands have fared well due to the lack of ongoing cultivation in modern times. They sometimes present as herringbone patterns and stand out really well in the landscape.

This page was added on 25/07/2017.

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