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.
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.
Keash, Co Sligo
It is a steep climb up a hillside, but the view from inside Cormac’s Cave makes it obvious how this location might have inspired the legends that surround it.
Knockanoura, Co. Clare
These are, in legend, a band of robbers turned to stone. As Mary Harrison explains, there was something so powerful about these stones that her frightened horses would not come near them.
Slane, Co Meath
Dowth means “darkness.” And darkness is what’s left for the visitor today. The electricity has been turned off and entrance is generally prohibited. Dowth was named from the darkness that fell on it when the king and his sister committed an unforgivable act.
Burt, Co. Donegal
Bus loads of schoolchildren drive up the winding road where the Grianán of Aileach dominates the summit. As the youngsters disperse to explore the fort they may not realize that it was actually assembled in 1837 from a disorganized jumble of stones.
Fuerty Fairy Fort, Co. Roscommon
According to Liam Connolly, the fairy fort in sight of his kitchen window was used as a burial ground during the terrible years of the Great Famine. This fact seems only to add to the mysterious atmosphere, as well as the sanctity of the place.
Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry
In 1910 T.J. Westropp called Dunbeg “the most complex and remarkable of the Irish promontory forts.” But archaeologists have few finds from the site. Why would the prehistoric inhabitants of Dunbeg bury their refuse when it was so easy to toss it over the edge of the cliff?
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.