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Prehistoric Celtic Sites in Ireland

Prehistoric Celtic Sites in Ireland

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Posted Wed 26 Dec 2018 7:23 PM
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Island of Ireland
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As an island of myth and legend, it's no surprise that Ireland is rich with ancient Celtic sites. Even though I know this to be true, I am still amazed each time I come into contact with a prehistoric wonder. 

Here are just a few of the special places I’ve fallen in love with on the island: 


Boa Island, County Fermanagh
Boa Island is one of the 150+ islands in Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, which is accessible via car. The drive to find these fascinating stone figures in the Caldragh Cemetery is scenic in and of itself. Definitely seek out these stones if you get the chance (photo taken in July). 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/26-12-2018/b9428a9f-bdea-4ce9-b924-e990.jpg


Poulnabrone Burial Tomb, County Clare

Mystical in any season, the dolmen at Poulnabrone in Burren National Park is such a special place to visit. I visited for the first time in January, and the cool weather made the overall experience all the more invigorating. As you can see, it is also fairly epic on a sunny day (photo taken in April)!
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/26-12-2018/f1440cce-a36c-4b80-aff0-bc06.jpg


Dún Aonghasa, County Galway
The prehistoric fort atop the cliffs on Inis Mór are so well worth the visit. Here is a photo of my dad climbing the steps to reach the top. The views are sensational, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean (not far from the famous Cliffs of Moher). (Photo taken in June). 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/26-12-2018/a7ba4c23-673f-4738-9878-4760.jpg


Ceide Fields, County Mayo
Excavations at the Ciede Fields in County Mayo revealed the the site of the earliest known settlement on the island. Interestingly, we learned during our visit that there were no weapons found on the site, evidencing a peaceful way of life. Just down the road from the Ceide Fields Visitor Centre (which I highly recommend), we found this incredible rock formation in the surrounding boglands (pictured here on a rainy day in June). You can always expect the unexpected on an Irish road trip! 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/26-12-2018/4e6c6cae-ef6c-4941-b5ec-fdc4.jpg

Giant’s Ring, County Down
You don’t need to travel far from urban centres to find ancient ruins. This beautiful rock enclosure is just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland. It’s incredible to think this structure is dated beyond 4,700 years old just beside the artsy capital city of Belfast!
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/26-12-2018/faaf0bf0-d9f2-4b65-aa16-8d9b.png

There are so may wonderful prehistoric Celtic sites on the island, which have completely captured my heart. To explore some interesting Christian Heritage Sites in Ireland, check out this list

What other places should we add to the list? :)

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Posted Fri 28 Dec 2018 6:47 PM
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Hello Jenny,

Thank you for sharing all of this wonderful information with us! :)

My own personal favourite is the Giant's Ring in County Down. I absolutely love the beautiful walk up to the Ring, and during the Summer solstice there is a big celebration on the site as well. 

I hope to visit the Legananny Dolmen in County Down soon as well, and will definitely share pictures of the trip. 

Warm regards,

Melin
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Posted Sat 29 Dec 2018 12:17 PM
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https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/29-12-2018/1d715081-ff4c-48c0-a9aa-6018.jpg

Hi Jenny,

One of my favourite walks is at Mountsandel Wood, located on the banks of the River Bann in Coleraine.  The deciduous trees, wild flowers and good circular path along the river bank make it an ideal place to get active outdoors, but what makes it extra special is the ancient history associated with the place and the knowledge that ancient man lived there some 10,000 years ago during the Mesolithic period.  An archaeological dig in 1973 discovered the existence of this ancient community, the oldest known settlement in Ireland.  These stone age hunters and gatherers were thought to have lived in this one location throughout the year, using their flint fish hooks for catching salmon in the natural weir.  There are interpretation panels dotted along the route.

The site also has an Iron Age Earthen Fort which can be reached by climbing stone steps up from the River Bann.  It is thought to have been built in the 1st Century AD. From the top of the fort you get great views of Coleraine and the river.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/29-12-2018/d09d7179-811c-44ea-b4f8-9df9.png

The Bann Disc, a beautiful Iron Age artifact, was found in the River Bann near to Mountsandel Wood.  It has a beautiful Celtic design and can be viewed at the Ulster Museum.  It is thought to have been made during the 1st Century BC.

Hope you are able to visit Mountsandel Wood, to enjoy a step back in time!
Anne

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Posted Sun 30 Dec 2018 4:23 PM
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Hi Jenny,

There are many wonderful sites up in the Inishowen peninsula, part of County Donegal that would be considered must-see locations during a trip around the area.

Grianán of Aileach
Sitting on the top of the hill behind the little hamlet of Burt in County Donegal sits the 2,000 plus-year-old ring fort. It was the seat of the High Kings O'Neill for around seven centuries from the 5th century.  Just to the left of the ring fort, there is a burial mound (tumulus), thought to date from 3,000 BC.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/30-12-2018/cff7b6b4-05f9-4b98-ba7a-a806.jpg

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Posted Wed 17 Apr 2019 10:10 AM
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https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/17-04-2019/b09ac6d7-3f91-43e2-902a-a33.jpegI don’t know what it is and it’s not recorded, but it’s on Arranmore Island Co Donegal. Any ideas?
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Posted Wed 14 Aug 2019 8:00 PM
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Hello Jenny,

I was in Ireland just two weeks ago (stayed there for around 20 days) and one of my favourite places was the Hill of Uisneach.
It is considered the holy and mythological centre of Ireland and next to that it is also the geographical centre of Ireland. The feast of Beltane is celebrated here and for the coming year they have some big plans.

According to the wonderful guide we had during our two hour stay here - people have been celebrating Beltane for more than 5000 years here. It was also the place were the high king stayed and people could approach him to speak to him. Later on he stayed at the Hill of Tara but in the beginning his court was at the Hill of Uisneagh.There are still some remenants here from the old palace. You are also shown the hill of Mother Earth and the Hill of the Fire God and the place where he died. The guide will tell you his story and will bring you to the place where mother Earth is burried. On top of it is the Cat Stone - this is considered a very holy place especially for women. 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2019/bc614b80-5eff-4728-b6db-bd38.jpg 
This is the Cat Stone!

At the hill of Uisneagh the mythological fifth region of Ireland can be found. It is also the spot from where the fairies/ fae came. The guide told us why they came and why they left again - how they can be found and where. You cannot visit the site without a guide but I can promise you it is so worth it. He will give you so much information - and he is really funny. Oh and the end there are tea and biscuits.

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Posted Thu 15 Aug 2019 9:25 AM
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Fantastic thread, Jenny! I'm happy to see that other members jumped in as well.

And what a wonderful trip, Dana! Thank you so much for this valuable information on the Hill of Uisneagh.

Speaking of which, your knowledge on the subject and your experience would certainly help others. Feel free to create a new thread to tell us more about your recent trip, maybe with more pictures. You can also contribute to this photography thread if you'd like.

We'd love to hear more about your experience. 😊

Groet,
Antoine


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