Monday, April 23, 2012

Craggaunaun, Co Clare

Craggaunaun Castle built by the McNamaras dates back to the 1500's and went to ruin in the 1700's until its restoration in the 1900's. The work was completed by John Hunt who's work did not finish with the restoration of the Castle, once it was finished he made reconstructions of early Irish Life on the site. This is open to the public as a walk and a museum. There are examples of Souterrains and Fullacht Fia(for real one click here) standing stones alone the wooded walk.
The Castle from across the Lake with the Cranogs to the left.

View from the back of the building.
One of the Halls inside the castle, there was some painting etc so this was the only shot inside.
Looking down from the top at the Crannogs
The Castle lake from above.
Lake from the base of the castle.
A Crannog was an artificial island built on layers of rock timber and earth that was fortified and was accessed only by dugout canoe or drawbridge. This type of construction dates back to the bronze age and and were in use up till the 17th century.
One of the dwellings with clay and wattle walls.
Inside the building looking at the roof construction.
An example of  a lake Currach 
View from the back of the Crannog.
Click on picture to enlarge
Another view of the island
There is also an example of a ringfort  
Click on picture to enlarge
one of the fort dwellings 
A hand Lathe

Example of Oghram standing stone
for real Ogram stone click here

Example of a Dolmen
to see a real dolmen click here

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Glanmore Lake

Two pictures taken of Glanmore Lake on the Healy Pass on the Beara Peninsula on the Kerry side of the pass.
panorama shot click to enlarge

Beara Peninsula

Two shots taken on the Beara Peninsula today, hadnt time to take more

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Hill of Tara, home of the high Kings and Gaelic Gods

Dating back to 3400BC this hill is many things, A dwelling place of the ancient Irish Gods, a passage way to the otherworld, seat of the High Kings, possible capitol of Atlantis, a place where Israelis went seeking the Arc of the Covenant and sitting on the top is the Stone of Destiny, so this makes this place one of Irelands most important historical and mythological places of interest.
(I know shame on me for not getting pictures sooner)
Artists impression of what it would have looked like at the top of the hill
The Lia Fail(lia fall), The Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone
Looking across at Cormacs House
The Stone of Destiny is one of the most important historical monuments on the site and according to mythology was brought to Ireland by the God like warriors the Tuatha De Danann (tu-ha de don-on). It was the coronation stone for the King Of Ireland, at the coronation if a rightful King placed his feet upon it, the stone would scream with joy so that the whole island of Ireland could hear. It also had magical powers to rejuvenate a King and help a just and fair ruler have a long reign.
This shot is taken from the Rath of Kings, ie the ringfort that surrounded the hill
 On the opposite side another tourist goes to see if they are the true King of Ireland.
 From this hill on a clear day it is said that half the counties in Ireland can be seen. The shot below is taken looking south 
Surrounding the Stone of Destiny and Cormacs house and the Mound of the Hostages is the remains of the Rath of Kings that enclosed the site (Rath is the Irish for Rignfort)
On the Rath looking west
There is a custom of tieing prayers wishes to the faeries(sidhe) this one is on the Rath
To get an idea that ditch line starting on the middle right is the remains of the Rath
This is looking towards the Stone of Destiny and the mound of Hostages from the Rath of Synods

The mound of Hostages is a passage grave similar in construction to Newgrange but only 15metres in diameter and it is aligned so that it gets direct Sunlight only on two days in the year on old Gaelic festivals Samhain(Sa-win) ie Halloween and Imbolc ie start of Spring. It dates back to 3000 BC and its estimated from cremated remains that 250+ people buried here.
It gets its name from the custom of the Kings of Tara keeping hostages from rival kingdoms to make sure that they kept in line. One of the greatest Kings was Niall of the Nine Hostages from the 4th or 5th Centuries, due to the fact that he held nine hostages. He held 5 hostages from the Kingdoms of Ireland, 1 from Scotland, 1 Saxon, 1 the Britons and 1 from the Franks(Germanic).
It is currently been excavated.

This is known as the Bangueting Hall and is about 200 metres in lenght and 20 metres in width.
A view of from the edge of the site towards the west
To the east of the site across the valley is Skryne hill.
I could not get a decent shot of it so me and my colleague decided to wave.
Google map of the site to give a better idea of the scale.
View Larger Map