Gallows Hill is a large man made mound on the edge of Dungarvan town. The origins of the mound were unknown until 2015, although it had been speculated to be an Anglo-Norman motte. In 2015, the local community formed the Gallows Hill Project in an attempt to uncover the origins and highlight its importance as a local heritage site.
The project was selected for the Heritage Council’s Adopt a Monument Ireland in 2016. Volunteers working alongside professionals have revealed a fascinating history that dates to at least the 5th century AD. The mound was possibly an Anglo-Norman motte but lying behind this is a much earlier story that dates to the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Three defensive ditches were excavated and each may date to a different period of the hills use. The charcoal that revealed the early 5th century AD date was found in the upper fill of the middle ditch. In 2019 eight human burials were uncovered on the mound summit. The burials date to the hills later use during the 16th & 17th century and were likely unfortunate victims of the gallows. A third inner ditch is yet to be dated and so Gallows Hill still retains some of its secrets for another day.