Meigh, Co. Armagh
This spot might have been conjured by a Hollywood set designer. Who else might have put a magical lake on the summit of a mountain, with mysterious burial mounds at each end, one the home of a legendary witch who matched wits with the fabled Finn McCool?
Castlebaldwin, Co. Sligo
The Carrowkeel passage tombs are only 20 minutes from the rushing traffic of the N4. But they are a world apart: a transition from a modern community to a landscape of deserted blanket bog and heather-covered hills, punctuated with jutting limestone cliffs and rift valleys.
Achill Island, Co. Mayo
All ancient monuments carry within their stones a poignant reminder of the lives of long-departed people. However the stones of Keel East sit adjacent to an even starker memento of life gone by: an entire deserted village.
Ballyvourney, Co. Cork
St. Gobnait’s monastic site contains two holy wells and the reputed grave of this sixth-century holy woman within a ruined prehistoric tomb. It also features a striking sheela-na-gig figure, said by some to be an image of the saint, and by others to be a remnant of a pagan goddess religion.
Bruff, Co. Limerick
There is no other spot in Ireland so rich in the evidence of prehistoric habitation and ceremony, and also in the mythic traditions of men and gods. The largest stone circle in Ireland lies close to a scenic lake reputed to harbor a magical realm beneath it.
Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry
There is little left to see at Dún An Óir. The earthworks from the hastily-constructed 1580 fortification have been eroded by weather and waves. There is no evidence of the November day centuries ago when 600 people were slain on this spot.
Slane, Co Meath
In 1699 the proprietor of the townland of New Grange needed stones for building. He dug into the scrub-covered mound on his land and soon discovered the mouth of a “cave.” What he found was Ireland’s most significant archaeological treasure. Newgrange is one of the oldest buildings in the world.
Howth, Co. Dublin
Nineteenth-century antiquarian Samuel Ferguson believed it to be the grave of the legendary Aideen, who died of grief when her husband Oscar was slain in battle. Ferguson commemorated the site in his lavishly illuminated poetic work, The Cromlech on Howth.
Myths and Megaliths
The ancient Irish made their mark on the land with great stone and earthen structures. The legends that developed were thought to be among the earliest voices from the dawn of western civilization.