In connection with the recent archaeological finds at Loughbrickland we noted that a Fulacht Fiadh site may have been identified.
Our photo shows one a Fulacht Fiadh at Rathlogan, Kilkenny which portrays the typical horseshoe shaped mound and the normal location in marshy ground close to a water source. The practice of using such sites persisted from the Bronze Age (the later of the two recently identified settlement eras near Loughbrickland) into the historic period and the method of using them is well described in early texts. Their remains are frequently discovered during land reclamation.
Almost invariably they contain a rectangular pit lined with wooden planks or stone slabs to form a trough, discovered during archaeological excavation under the open part of the horseshoe-shaped mound. Water was heated in the trough by rolling hot stones into it from a nearby fire. It has been proved by experiment that water can be boiled in this way and meat cooked in it. The hot stones often shattered on contact with the water and the mound was formed by shovelling the broken stones out of the trough for the next cooking session. Part of the timber trough often survives in the damp conditions often prevailing on these sites.