The Boyne Valley - Ireland's leading tourist destination

Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara
While 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 12th century.

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 and Imbolc.

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 continues.

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

© 2006 - The Online Independant Tourism Portal