Moynalty, Co. Meath
Ireland has remnants of more than 45,000 ringforts. There were once many more, now leveled and lost. That so many have survived is due in part to their being known as the homes of the fairies.
Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry
Near the town of Ballyferriter are two stone monuments vividly bringing into the landscape the stories of an enchanted cow whose milk was ever flowing. The Glas Gaibhnenn gave milk freely to all, until she was tricked by an evil woman.
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.
Salisbury Plain, England
No, Stonehenge is not in Ireland. But according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Merlin the magician moved Stonehenge from Ireland to England as a memorial for Britons who had been treacherously slain by the Saxons at a truce meeting on Salisbury Plain.
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.
Kimego West, Co. Kerry
The two forts are known in Irish as caiseal, not far from the Irish word for castle, caisleán. In local legend, the distance from the forts to the ruins of Ballycarbery castle is a short one also, as they are all reputed to be connected by underground passages.
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.
Goleen, Co. Cork
From its construction in the late Stone Age the Altar Wedge Tomb, with its dramatic waterfront location on Toormore Bay, was the site of ritual practices that continued in the 18th century when the tomb was used as a “Mass Rock.”
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.