Ballycastle >History



Céide Fields

The Céide fields are located 8 km west of Ballycastle on the Ballycastle/Belderrig road. The fields are ordinary fields in which cattle once grazed and wheat and barley were harvested. What makes them unique is that they lay buried under the bog for 5,000 years making them the oldest intact field system in the world. Céide Fields is not just one of the oldest field systems in the world, it is also the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world.

The walls were traced under the bog using metal probes and where the bog has been removed, there is a well organised countryside of stone-walled fields which have lain there intact for 5,000 years. One can step down from the present day bog into an untouched landscape which lay buried for almost fifty centuries.

The story of the fields is told at 12 points along the guided tour and you can discover a buried wall for yourself using a centuries old method of probing.

There is also an Interpretive Centre on the site which has exhibitions, audio-visual show and tearooms. You can also find out the story of an ever-changing landscape, such as why bogs grow and the huge influence a subtle change in climate can bring about.