Well dia dhuit my friends again!
Grab a cup of tea because I've got a tale to spin about a grand adventure to the enchanting Loughcrew Cairns Megalithic Site. Located in the heart of County Meath, this ancient treasure trove is a hidden gem that'll transport you back to a time when giants roamed the Emerald Isle.
It was a lovely evening when I set out to uncover the secrets of Loughcrew Cairns. As I made my way through the green hills of County Meath, I could see that it's no wonder they call it the 'Royal County'. I'm about to be taken back a good 5,000 years.
For those not in the know, Loughcrew Cairns is a collection of Neolithic passage tombs nestled atop Slieve na Calliagh, or the 'Hill of the Witch' as the locals call it. The name alone gives you a sense of the mystique that surrounds this place. It's said that the cairns were built by some of the earliest settlers in Ireland, and they're older than the pyramids of Egypt, if you can believe it!
As I climbed the hill, I started off with the lovely steps that have settled into the surrounding lane and grass. Every step I climbed, and every sheep I walked past, I could see more and more of County Meath and beyond! The day was clear and the hills were like a green soft carpet.
It wasn't long before I reached the summit and I have to say my breath was short by the top. There at the top, standing tall and proud, were the cairns themselves. These massive stones, some weighing up to 100 tons, were stacked with an engineering prowess that's baffled archaeologists for generations.
How they managed to hoist these stones into place without the modern machinery we have today is a mystery that keeps the mind ticking with no answer. Now there was a lot of potions and magic mushrooms in the surrounding fields, so whether they boosted them I don't know!
The Astronomical Wonder of these people
One of the most remarkable features of Loughcrew Cairns is their astronomical alignment. The entrance to Cairn T (this big one you see my standing at) is perfectly aligned with the sunrise during the equinoxes. This means that twice a year, on those special mornings, the rising sun illuminates the passage tomb's interior.
I couldn't venture inside Cairn T. The Neolithics were not home that day, not for 5000 years. But looking in I could see it was a tight squeeze. You wouldn't want to dread tight spaces. I do know that the interior is adorned with intricate carvings and symbols.
To think, all those millennia ago, people gathered here to pay homage to their ancestors, the stars, and the cycles of the seasons. It's amazing to think of the intelligence our ancestors had with such limited resources.
The Amazing Views
The panoramic views of the Irish countryside took my breath away. It's no wonder the ancients chose this spot to build their cairns. The rolling hills, the shimmering Loughcrew Lake, and the lush green fields stretched as far as the eye could see.
Before I left, I took a moment to soak it all in. I marveled at the ingenuity of my ancestors, who left us this incredible legacy, that in my opinion is still undiscovered by so many.
So, if you ever find yourself in the land of shamrock hills, do yourself a favor and make the journey to Loughcrew Cairns. It's a place where history, mystery, and magic converge, and you'll leave with a heart full of wonder and a deeper connection to the ancient times of the land of Ireland. Or if you have visited here, or maybe Newgrange, I'd love to hear. Does this spark any interest?
If you do venture to Dublin, let me know and maybe we can organise a personal tour!
And by the way, while you're here, let me whisk you back a few years to the Folk village of Glencolmcille! Read here.