Fulachta fiadh are mounds of burnt stone believed to have been used for cooking. Archaeological excavation has shown that these were most commonly used between 3500 and 3000 years ago. Experiments have shown how fulachta fiadh were used: after being placed on a hot fire the stones were placed into a wooden trough which was filled with water. The hot stones would then heat the water to boiling point, and the cooking could begin. Averaging at 20 minutes to the pound for meat, this was not a primitive method of cooking, but it was time consuming and may have been used at special occasions. Many examples of fulachta fiadh in Wicklow have been excavated in recent years, particularly in the east of the county. These sites are often found in wet marshy areas or near a small stream. These wet ground conditions are excellent for preserving the wooden troughs built to hold the water that was boiled by the heated stones.
This article is extracted from County Wicklow in Prehistory a heritage office publication produced as an action of the County Heritage Plan. Text supplied by Chris Corlett