The Devil’s Bit – Glenreagh, Ireland - Atlas Obscura

The Devil’s Bit

Glenreagh, Ireland

It's said this geological anomaly was caused when the Devil took a bite out of the Irish mountainside. 


Located in the rolling green of the Tipperary countryside, the Devil’s Bit is a gap between a plateau and an outcrop of rocks. The top of the mountain looks as if a chunk has been taken out of it, which local folklore has explained as a result of the Devil biting into the mountaintop. 

As the story goes, the Devil broke his tooth during the bite and spat it out, forming the Rock of Cashel outcrop, a historic landmark about 20 miles to the south. (A fun story, even if the Devil’s Bit Mountain is comprised of sandstone while the Rock of Cashel is limestone.)

In reality, the curious bite-shaped gap is a geological anomaly, but this place is surrounded by myth. It has also been said that the Book of Dimma, an 8th-century manuscript copy of the four Gospels of the Bible, was discovered near the Devil’s Bit in 1789. There is some debate on whether the manuscript could have survived in the conditions it was rumored to be discovered in, but the supposed discovery highlights the intrigue surrounding the mountain.

Know Before You Go

There is parking located at the bottom of the mountain, and a hike to the top provides a panoramic view of the surrounding counties. The road to the base of Devil’s Bit is both winding and narrow (single lane at points) so make sure to drive carefully.

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April 22, 2019

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