The Hill of Tara IMAGES OF ANCIENT IRELAND Ruins of Slane Abbey

Contents


Fourknocks Fourknocks is a Passage Chamber Tomb built 5000 years ago. Its name may come from the Irish Fuair Cnocs, 'Cold Hills'. The zig-zag patterns carved above its three recesses are reminiscent of the Cassiopeia constellation, which would have been visible from the tomb at the time it was constructed.
The Hill of Tara Known in Irish as the Teamhair na Rí or 'Hill of the Kings', the Hill of Tara is one of Ireland's most important ancient sites. For more information see the Tara page.
Monasterboice Founded by Saint Boice who died in 521 AD. Monasterboice contains two of the finest high crosses in Ireland, dating from the ninth century - the cross of Muiredach and the Tall Cross.
Glendalough Glendalough, 'the glen of two lakes' or 'the city of the seven churches', was founded fourteen centuries ago by Saint Kevin.  For five hundred years, despite attacks by the Vikings,  it served as one of Ireland's key centres of learning and religion. In 1163 its abbot, Laurance O'Toole, became the Archbishop of Dublin. However, in 1214 Glendalough monastery was destroyed by the Norman invaders, and its influence declined thereafter. Reconstruction began in 1878.
Mellifont Abbey A twelfth century Cisterian monastery founded by Malachy. Its first monks arrived from Clairvaux in 1142. Mellifont hosted the Synod of Drogheda in 1152. In the early thirteenth century, Mellifont was embroiled in resistance to reform amongst the Cistercians, in what became known as the 'Mellifont conspiracy'.  Further attempts to reform the monastery occurred two centuries later, but before they could be completed, the English Reformation took place and Mellifont was dissolved by King Henry VIII. The Abbey building passed into private hands and eventually fell into ruin.
Kildare Kildare's saint is Brigit, born around 450 into a family of druids. The shrine devoted to her was once used for pagan worship. Kildare is home to three abbeys, the White, the Grey and the Black. The White Abbey was founded by William de Vesci, lord of Kildare, in 1292; he also founded  the Grey Abbey for the Franciscans in 1260. The Black Abbey is older, founded by the Knights Hospitaller in 1212.
Slane Abbey Slane, or Baile Shláine, is a village in County Meath. The Hill of Slane stands to the north of the village. According to tradition, Saint Patrick lit a Pascal fire on this hill top in defiance of King  Laoghaire, who had forbidden any fires to be lit before his own had burnt on the Hill of Tara.  Laoghaire sent men to confront Patrick; however one of them dropped dead on the mission, convincing another of the group, Erc, to convert to Christianity. He subsequently became the Bishop of Slane. Laoghaire was so impressed by Saint Patrick that he allowed him to continue to spread Christianity, and the Hill of Slane became a centre of learning and religion for centuries after Saint Patrick's time. The ruins of a Franciscan monastery built in 1512 can still be seen on the Hill.
Aran The Aran isles - Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer - are home to a number of huge stone forts, said to have been built by the Celtic Firbolg tribe. The Dun Aengus and Dun Duchathair iron age forts perch on the cliff edge at Inishmore. The isles are also dotted with crumbling stone churches. Saint Enda founded a monastery on Inishmore in the fifth century.

Return to top

Return to the Pages index
Return to the main page


FOURKNOCKS

Fourknocks megalithic passage tomb
Fourknocks megalithic mound
Fourknocks (Passage Grave)

The Fourknocks tomb

The Fourknocks mound

The entrance to Fourknocks.

A recess at Fourknocks.

Return to top


THE HILL OF TARA

Tara - Temair
Megalithic Ireland: Hill of Tara

The Royal Enclosure at Tara

The Stone of Destiny

The outer ring of the Royal Enclosure

Return to top



MONASTERBOICE

Monasterboice
Irish high crosses

Cross of Muiredach

Old and new graves at Monasterboice

Tall Cross

Tall (or West) Cross and roundtower

Return to top


GLENDALOUGH

The history of Glendalough
Heritage of Glendalough

St Kevin's Cross

Inside the ruins of Glendalough

Ruined church at Glendalough

Round tower at Glendalough

Mist over Glendalough

Graves at Glendalough

Return to top



KILDARE

Kildare heritage trail

Shrine to Brigit of Kildare

Ancient shrine at Kildare

Round tower at Kildare

White Abbey at Kildare

The Grey Abbey at Kildare

Black Abbey at Kildare

Return to top



MELLIFONT ABBEY

Mellifont Abbey: A brief history and virtual tour
Mellifont Abbey

Mellifont

The ruins of Mellifont

The gate at Mellifont

Return to top



SLANE ABBEY


Hill of Slane information
Slane Tourism

Graveyard at Slane Abbey

Distance shot of Slane Abbey

View from Slane Abbey

Inside Slane Abbey

Return to top


ARAN

Visit Aran Islands
Guide to the Aran Isles

Iron Age fort at Aran

Graveyard at Aran

Ruined church at Aran

View from Aran

Return to top