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On our first afternoon in Ireland we checked in to our B&B and then we went to the Hill of Tara (prehistoric site) after getting lost several times (signposting in Ireland is non-existent). We saw the audio/visual show and wandered around the site. Lots of mounds in the middle of a field. Our son enjoyed running up and down the hills.
The next day we also visited Newgrange and Knowth
Written Jul 24, 2007
St Mary Priory and tower ruins date from 12thC.
There is a 10thC High Cross in outside priory.
Duleek has a wayside Cross The Dowdall Cross by roadside
erectedin 1601 by Lady Jennet Dowell in memory of her husband and herself.
Written Jun 29, 2007
Address: Duleek, Co. Meath
The Hill of Tara was where the High Kings of Ireland were crowned and is mentioned in many Irish legends from ancient times. To be honest, I expected it to be a little bit more impressive. It's historically very important but little effort seems to have been made to make it as popular as, say, Newgrange. Some more information woul d have been nice. The site itself just has the odd plaque near an uninteresting looking mound. The church at the bottom of the hill now houses a (very) small visitor's centre.
Written Nov 18, 2006
Bru na Boinne is a trio of prehistoric passage graves, the most famous being Newgrange, scattered over a small area on the banks of the River Boyne. Passage graves are huge mounds built over a tomb, similar in concept I suppose to the Pyramids, although these graves are several hundred years older!
The complex is extremely popular and there is a daily limit on the number of visitors allowed to see the graves, so it's advisable to arrive at the Visitor's Centre as early as possible. From there visitors are shuttled around by bus. There are various ticket combinations available, depending which of the graves you want to see.
The Visitor's Centre itself is a modern building displaying information about how and why the graves were built.
Updated Nov 18, 2006
The Megalithic passage tomb at Newgrange was built about 3200 BC. It covers an area of over one acre and is surrounded by 100 kerbstones . The 19 metre long inner passage leads to a chamber with a corbelled roof. It is estimated that the construction of the Passage Tomb at Newgrange would have taken a work force of 300 at least 20 years to build. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn from the 19th to the 23rd of December. They centre chooses the person/s through a lottery system, the first 50 people drawn out of the system get the chance to see this wonderful out of the world experience and application forms are available at the reception desk in the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre. When you enter the chamber the guide gives you the story behind it and then also leaves you in darkness for a few minutes to have that experience then the ray of light comes on slowly. Also in the centre is an exhibition, a restaurant and the usual tourists things to get you to spend money. Bus eireann provide tours to the area. Check on the following website for more information. https://www.buseireann.ie/asp/TourDetailView.asp?TOUR_CODE=CD2L&SEASON_ID=33
Updated Aug 5, 2003
Trim Castle is the largest remaining Anglo-Norman castle in Europe, and parts of the movie Braveheart have been filmed here. When I visited it it was just being restored and we could not go inside, but from the outside it looks absolutely massive.
Also, the "Yellow Steeple" on the other side of the river makes a nice picture.
Written Jul 8, 2003
The Hill of Tara is the ancient capital of Ireland and was the seat of the High Kings. There is not really a whole lot to see there except old earthworks, mounds and two standing stones, but I find it a very magical site. It is said that from the top you can see all four provinces of Ireland. Try to go there when there are as few visitors as possible, first thing in the morning, for example. I found it great to sit on top of that hill, leaning against a standing stone (when it is not as waterlogged as in the picture) and to see Ireland spread out at your feet, imagining what life must have been like when there were people still living on this hill.
Written Jul 8, 2003
Newgrange. The oldest Celtic site in Europe.......more explanation to come from my records......You can enter this "tomb-like" mound, see where the ray of the sun comes in once a year and travels down the pathway to the innermost chamber. Other ancient Celtic site nearby, such as Knoweth. More to come................
Updated May 16, 2003
Address: North of Dublin
Newgrange is actually just part of a whole array of passage tombs and other megalithic astronomical sites. See the webpage for information on all of it.
This picture shows one of the kerb stones around the mound with some megalithic carvings on it. These designs are often called Celtic designs but they've been carved an odd 2500 years before the Celts even setfoot in Ireland.
Written Feb 27, 2003
Newgrange is a passage tomb dating from the megalithic period. As the sun rise on the morning of the winter solstice it shines straight into the passage to light up the cruciform chamber 19m into the mound.
How they managed to do this 3200 years before Christ is mind boggling!
Written Feb 27, 2003