Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fourknocks passage grave & stories of burned Babies Stamullen Meath


This is a small passage grave near Stamullen and it is called Fourknocks, but its name comes from Irish Fuair(cold) Cnoc(hill) in English sounds like four knocks. This one is unusual in that it has a lot of stone carvings for such a small passage grave.

There was an interesting story told to me by a local that they burned babies here, yes you read they allegedly burned babies inside the mound. According to some locals the practice was to burn infants that had disease. This is not verified but according to some locals this is the tradition, but could be more to discredit the pagans

  
I had not time to get into the tomb, but there is an image on the outside of one of the carvings that depict a face, this is the only example of this time of a representation of a face as all other Irish carvings from the period were curvlinear (learned that in school ). 
Here is the mound you can see in comparison to the 4 foot fence that it is not that high, it is possible to go and see this one but you have to get a key and have it returned before 6. I hadn't the time to do this damnit. Looks so peacefull, all I was thinking is burning babies!
See comment below there are tours between here and the Naul.

6 comments:

findabair said...

Thank you for this - I never heard of the place, and it sounds very interesting. Is there a visitors centre of some sort, or can you just go pick up the key and go in?? Do you have any idea if there is public transport going there? I don't have a license, so I'm not likely to have a car when I want to visit it :)

Paz said...

there is no public transport to this one there is a heritage group for passage graves that sometimes puts tours together, if you get there there is instructions on where to get key of a house 5 miles down the road, where for a small deposit you get a key.You prob need to get your hands on a car :(

findabair said...

Hm, that's too bad :/ Thanks for the information!

Leisha Camden said...

findabair: You need to either make friends with someone on that heritage group so you could be included on a tour, or alternatively you'd need to travel with someone who drives so you could rent a car. I'd love to visit that place, but as you know, I wouldn't be much help with the driving ...

About the pictures, and the text too, that is so interesting! So fascinating that a place like that exists. It reminds me of a book I read, years ago - The Psalms of Herod by Esther M Friesner - it was a brilliant book that has really stayed with me. It's set in a post-apocalyptic future in which society is arranged very rigidly and according to strict religious principles ... population control is very important because food supplies are limited. One of the things they do to keep the population 'correct' is to place the babies 'out on the hill'. Literally a hill where they leave newborns to die. Every child who is disabled in some way, and also every child of the 'wrong' sex ... ie, if they have a lot of boys that generation, they want more girls so that the supply will be equal, about 50/50 ... so if a woman gives birth to a male child it's taken away from her and put out on the hill. Or vice versa of course, if it's boys that they need.

It was a powerful story and the setting was absolutely fascinating, I loved that novel. These pictures brought the book to my mind immediately.

Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

hi i live right by this passage graves outside swords there are tours during the summer an they then go to naul where the sheamus ennis center for light refreshments but getting back to this comment on the buring of the babies i dont think there is any real truth to these findings unless there wer some hard facts i wouldnt believe that but yes we have many visitors to the area during the warm months especially

Paz said...

I have made some changes, because you have not been the first to mail me about the burned babies, see changes. Glad to here that there are tours, I could not find any when I put these up