Also known as potato ridges, these are physical remains of the Great Famine that began in 1845, causing nearly ten years of starvation, disease and emigration. Land holdings were very small, due to unscrupulous landlords, and 62% of families had only one to fifteen acres each to cultivate.
During British occupation, the landlords required tenants to grow crops for export on the good land, and the Irish were forced to utilise poorer soils. The potato was the only suitable crop. Potato blight swept the country, causing crops to fail and subsequent starvation, especially in the West of Ireland.