The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre in County Longford is a fascinating reminder of the Iron Age in Ireland. Situated in the midst of the tranquil Longford countryside, the centre houses one of the largest and most impressive toghers or Iron Age roads ever uncovered in Europe. Constructed in 148 BC, the togher, known as the Danes’ Road, is thought to have formed part of an important routeway that connected the royal sites of Rathcroghan and the Hill of Uisneach, the ancient ritual centre of Ireland.
Built using heavy planks of oak, the trackway sank into the bog after a short time, preserving it perfectly for over two millennia. The preserved remains of the togher were rediscovered during peat cutting in the mid-twentieth century. A significant excavation was carried out in the 1990s, and an 18-metre section of the ancient wooden structure was uncovered.
The interpretive centre at Corlea Trackway showcases this remarkable find in a hall specially designed to preserve it. Here, visitors can walk over the ancient oak planks, learning about the technology and engineering skills of the Iron Age people who constructed them. The centre also contains an array of interactive exhibits and displays, bringing to life the people who built and used the togher, and the wider social and cultural context of the time.
The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of ancient Ireland. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the Longford countryside, which provides a stunning backdrop to this remarkable site.