The Emerald Isle is a goldmine of beautiful, prehistoric sites, practically unscathed by modern life. The stone circles, monuments and tombs that have stood the test of time today are flocked to by locals and tourists alike, all year round. Here at Mallon Ireland, we love anything that is steeped in Irish culture. That’s why we’ve created a list of prehistoric sites you must visit in Ireland.
Hill of Tara, County Meath
Situated in the east of Ireland, the Hill of Tara stands proud, presenting views of over a quarter of Ireland from the summit. It has been said the High Kings of Ireland took up residence here. The legend of Conn of the Hundred Battles tells how he became king. He stood on a stone that let out several cries, each cry representing a descendant of his that would become King of Ireland. The stone was actually Lia Fáil, the Stone of Destiny, and the story was that when a true king arrived at Tara, the stone would cry. The Ráith na Ríogh (Fort of the Kings) and the Stone of Destiny still stand today and serve as a major attraction.
Carrowmore, County Sligo
In the west of Ireland, in the heart of the Cúil Írra Peninsula the megalithic cemetery at Carrowmore still exists today. A group of satellite tombs surround a central tomb (Listoghil monument) which is marked with a cairn. Carrowmore is one of the four major passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland, and folklore dictates that these tombs date to the Battle of Magh Tuireadh, where the Firbolgs were defeated by the Tuatha De Danann.
On Boa Island, County Fermanagh, the Caldragh graveyard stands. This place is the home of Ireland’s most curious, transfixing sculpture. It has two faces and stands at 73cm high and is said to show a celtic deity. No one really knows why they are there. They may have been part of pre-Christian religious sites, or they may have been made by early Christians who included older pagan beliefs in their grave sites. Either way, they are endlessly beautiful.
Rock art at the Isle of Doagh
One of the most beautiful carvings in Ireland is in Inishowen, County Donegal. Little is understood or known about the meaning of the carvings, but they could be signs of territorial markings or star mapping. One of the earliest expressions of human creativity, they are a stunning piece situated on the Isle of Doagh, which was regarded as a sacred island in ancient times.
This country is saturated with culture and surviving remnants of where we came from. Often disguised within the rush of daily life, these stunning pieces of, arguably, art, are still remaining and still very much alive. After reading our take on prehistoric sites you must visit in Ireland, why not take a day trip to visit some?