Ballymascanlon House, Co. Louth
This site may be unique in Ireland as the only ancient monument likely to hide a golf ball hit into the rough. It is situated just off the sixth hole at the Ballymascanlon House Hotel golf course.
Woodville, Co. Sligo
The use of this stone in folk remedies did not end at the beginning of the twentieth century. A woman living very close to the stone was interviewed by the Gardaí about what may have been this ritual practice in the mid-1990s.
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.
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.
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.
Glanworth, Co. Cork
This tomb was built two millennia before the ascendancy of the Celts, whose legends named this monument the “Bed of the Witch [or hag].” Can it be possible that a folk memory from the Late Bronze Age about the woman whose decapitated remains were found here was somehow preserved in oral tradition?
Tullow, Co. Wicklow
The nineteenth century blarney depicted by travel writers in Ireland has not gone out of style. In June of 1979 our informants delighted in the competitive spirit, each trying to outdo the other in spinning the more outrageous tale of the Ring of the Rath.
Sneem, Co. Kerry
The local peasantry called the building Staig an air, which was translated as “Windy House, or “The Staired Place of Slaughter.” It was said to be either a temple or an observatory, and has been attributed to other ancient cultures—Druids, Phoenicians, and Danes.
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.