reknowned at the seat of the high
kings of Ireland, the importance
of the Hill of Tara stretches
bacl to the late Stone Age when
a passage-tomb was constructed
there.Significant site containing
ancient monuments and the reputed
seat of the High Kings of Ireland.
The Hill was once the seat of
power in Ireland with over 140
kings said to have reigned over
the country until the 6th century
and to a lesser extent until the
Atop the hill is an Iron Age hill
fort of almost 1000 metres in
circumference known as the Royal
Enclosure. The fort contains a
number of earthworks including
two linked ringforts known as
Teach Chormaic (Cormac's House)
and the Forradh or Royal Seat.
In the middle of the Forradh is
the Stone of Desinny, a large
standing stone which is believed
to be the stone at which the High
Kings were crowned. According
to legend, the stone would scream
if a series of challenges were
met by the would-be king. at his
touch the stone would let out
a screech that could be heard
all over Ireland.
The oldest monument on the hill
is the Mound of the Hostages.
On excavation, it proved to be
a small passage grave dating to
around 2000 BC. The passage grave
is aligned with sunset on the
ancient Celtic festivals of Samhain
The hill also contains a number
of other ancient monuments including
Raith na Seanadh, a ringfort
with three banks which was found
to contain Roman artefacts during
excavations. Also on the hill
is Raith Laoghaire where
lore has it that the last pagan
king of Ireland was buried in
an upright position.
In the 19th century, Daniel O'
Connell hosted a peaceful Home
Rule political demonstration on
the hill which attracted a reputed
1 million people.
To this day, a sense of magic
and history prevails on the hill
and research of its varied history
An audio-visual presentation is
available from Mid May to Mid
September as well as guided tours
of the site. Public car parking
and toilets are available close
to the site.
back to sights