Rostellan, Co. Cork
Nearly submerged by the tide, the Rostellan Dolmen is the only example of such a “Diarmuid and Gráinne’s Bed” to wear a garland of seaweed. In legend, Diarmuid placed seaweed on a sheltering dolmen to protect his lover and himself from Fionn’s magic vision.
Doagh, Co. Antrim
A visitor to the Doagh Holestone might find the ground blanketed in flower petals, the remnants of a visit by newlyweds come to clasp hands through the hole. Their family and friends attend this modern rendition of a time-honored local practice, blissfully unmindful of earlier, more pagan activities at the site.
Knockainey, Co. Limerick
This sacred hill of the fairy queen Áine, who was known as both sun goddess and love goddess, was a ceremonial site long before the first stirrings of a Celtic mythology. It remains sacred for some visitors today.
Navan, Co. Armagh
Not a natural feature such as a holy well, this artificial pool was dug out, and allowed to fill in with water, to create a ritual site sometime in the first millennium BCE. There is no other site like it in Ireland.
Fore, Co. Westmeath
St. Féichín’s presence continues to influence the community of Fore, where both pilgrims and locals are able to blend native folk beliefs into the practice of their faith.
Cullamore, Co. Tyrone
Altadaven Glen, the light-dappled dreamscape location of St. Patrick’s Chair and Well, seems like a small patch of fern-filled rain forest magically dropped into Co. Tyrone.
Burren Forest Park, Co. Cavan
Many of Ireland’s megalithic monuments—portal tombs, court cairns, or wedge tombs such as this one—are known locally as “the giant’s grave.” But this one, on a hilltop in Co. Cavan’s Burren Forest Park, has a giant story to go along with its name.
Downpatrick, Co. Down
The Mound of Down, wildly overgrown with bushes and trees, is but a short walk down the hill from Down Cathedral. The Mound dates from the Iron Age; the Cathedral was first constructed in the 12th century.
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.