“The scene is one so solemn and so sad that none should enter here but the pilgrim and the penitent.” (Lord Dunraven, 1875)
“The thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world.” (George Bernard Shaw, 1910)
Cushendall, Co. Antrim
This tomb was known as “Cloughbrack” on early maps. It is unclear when it became connected with Ossian and the effort to reclaim Ireland’s ancient folkloric patrimony from the fabrications of an upstart Scotsman.
Dingle, Co. Kerry
You can still feel the community pack
This place: it’s like going into a turfstack,
A core of old dark walled up with stone
A yard thick…
“In Gallarus Oratory,” 1969
Anascaul, Co. Kerry
The drama of the Anglo-Irish conflict, explosively played out here in 1650, was—more than 300 years later—the backdrop for the 1970 film Ryan’s Daughter, filmed here and elsewhere on the Dingle Peninsula.
Tulsk, Co. Roscommon
Rathcroghan has both a geographic and a symbolic presence. It is an archaeological treasure trove, but it also is the venue of a queen-goddess with the power of conferring legitimacy on the tribal kings of ancient Ireland.
Kildare, Co. Kildare
In a churchyard that has seen its great cathedral rise from ruin many times in its 1500 year history sit two stone structures which can be seen as the yin and yang of Irish architecture: a pagan fire temple and an early-Christian round tower.
Termon, Co. Donegal
The Rock of Doon is a craggy eminence with a storied past and a glorious panoramic view. On its flat summit there was reputed to be an inauguration ceremony in which the tribal leader was joined symbolically with the powers of nature during a brutal pagan rite.
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?
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.