Central Ireland Sights

After Dublin, we headed west across Ireland’s interior and came across some amazing sites.

Bru Na Boinne – these massive, grass covered mounds with interesting stone inscriptions were mysterious and thought-provoking. We were told that they are 5000 years old.  We were allowed inside one of them and it was amazing.  Although these ancient people only used simple tools of wood and stone, the expertise they showed in architecture, engineering, art, and astronomy is beyond belief.  It is not known exactly who or how these structures were built. Dating about 3200 B.C., these mounds were built about 1000 years before Stonehenge and 600 years before the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt! The hill at Newgrange is 250 feet across and 40 feet high. It’s almost unbelievable that five-ton rocks were brought 12.5 miles, rolled up a hill to make this structure that weighs 200,000 tones total, and it still stands,waterproof and complete to this day.

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All the mounds were used as possible burial chambers,  the larger ones as possible ceremonial places of worship as well as being utilized for storage and hiding places when necessary..

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They have recorded 40 mounds in total ,covering an area of almost 2000 acres

 

Entrance to

Entrance to the Knowth Mound.  The most interesting aspect is that during the winter solstice sunrise, the sunlight shines directly in the front door, down the entrance hall and onto the alter in the center in the mound

Trim Castle – this hauntingly beautiful castle ruin is the biggest Norman castle in Ireland. It was completed in 1220 and was meant as a powerful reminder to the Irish natives of the power of the Norman domination.

Interior of Trim Castle

Interior of Trim Castle

Trim Castle was once used as backdrop for the movie Braveheart

Trim Castle was once used as backdrop for the movie Braveheart.

 

Clonmacnoise – This impressive site contained seven churches varying in date from the 10th century to the 17th century. It is the home of a beautiful High Cross; the ringed head was carved from one piece of sandstone around 900 A.D.  The cross stands 13 feet high and is ornately carved. There were many grave-slabs with different inscriptions and different forms of crosses. The largest church on site, the cathedral, was originally built in 909, and was greatly embellished in the 1400’s. with vaulted ceilings and carved archways. One of the archways over the doorways was especially beautifully carved with three saints: Dominic, Patrick, and Francis.

Aerial photo (from Google images) to better appreciate the size and structures.. Notice the   two towers.  The one in the foreground was  struck by lightning. We were told that the monks took that as a sign from God that they needed to keep the height of their towers  to shorter heights;.  they then used the fallen bricks to construct the second tower.

Carved grave stones

Carved grave stones

Center of one of the 7 alters/churches.

Center of one of the 7 alters/churches.

One of 4 large markers that have been moved inside and replicas put in their place out side

One of 4 large markers that have been moved inside and replicas put in their place outside to protect the originals from the elements.  (see photo section for additional pictures)

 

2 thoughts on “Central Ireland Sights

  1. Great information, that is well written.
    Really enjoy getting your updates. Also thought you and Jeanette would like to know that I am reading your recent update in Ashland at a nice lunch/ book store.
    Looking forward to your next published work.

    • Dale
      Thanks for the email. We’re having a great time and we hope you are enjoying your summer as well, Ashland is nice I’m sure. Today we are going to venture into London, wish us well.

      Steve and Jeanette

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