The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Get the TMA Images feed
mythicalireland's Latest Posts

Latest Posts

Bremore (Passage Grave) — News

Bremore decision vindication for heritage conservation

The decision to move large parts of the proposed port infrastructure at Bremore, North Dublin, away from an area containing a cluster of Stone Age passage tombs is a vindication for the heritage conservation lobby, an expert on ancient Ireland has said.

Anthony Murphy, author of 'Island of the Setting Sun – In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers', says that the planning decision avoids a probable decade-long battle between the archaeological community and the project's developers.

"Clearly, the backers of this proposal understand the nature and sensitivity of the archaeological complex at Bremore, and the scale of the legal battle which they would have to engage in if they proceeded with this flawed plan," said Mr. Murphy.

Some campaigners had identified the Bremore port as "the next M3 battle".

"The Bremore complex is a cluster of passage-tombs, many examples of which are over 5,000 years old. Any proposal which would envisage the large-scale development in close proximity to such monuments is clearly untenable," said Mr. Murphy.

Other passage-tomb complexes in Ireland include the world heritage site at Brú na Bóinne, incorporating the best-known examples of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Further examples are found on the hills of Loughcrew in Meath and at Carrowmore and Carrowkeel in Sligo.

"We are not dealing with a humble ringfort or souterrain here. Bremore is a site of national, if not international, importance, and utterly deserves conservation as a surviving remnant of a very distant age."

Mr. Murphy, whose book attempts to unravel the purpose of ancient passage mounds by providing a thought-provoking merger of the studies of archaeology, astronomy and folklore, says a definitive plan for the preservation and protection of the Bremore monuments should now be put in place.

"These sites should not be just left to rot and decay in the landscape. We need a real plan to protect them for future generations. Other passage-tombs a short distance away at the Delvin estuary were destroyed as the sea encroached upon the coastline. Clearly, we don't want this to happen at Bremore."

"The whole debacle over the construction of the M3 motorway through the Tara-Skryne valley shows that at Government level, there has been little or no concern for Ireland's ancient heritage, and development will come no matter what the cost."

"However, there are a growing band of people, myself included, who believe we can have development and jobs and keep our heritage also. There are significant benefits to protecting, preserving and promoting our ancient sites, not least from a tourism perspective."

"The latest news about Bremore is very welcome. It vindicates the stance taken by many groups, individuals and academics over the past decade relating to the route of the M3. While some may feel the M3 battle is lost, clearly the Bremore decision indicates that much greater consideration will be given to heritage sites in the future."

"The cynical way of looking at this is that those involved just want to avoid lengthy legal battles and project delays, but the ultimate outcome is that Bremore will be saved from the awful fate which developers and some archaeologists call 'Preservation by Record', but which others call 'Destruction by Documentation'."

This is a victory for common sense and a good decision by the port's backers. What it means is that the project may not now be delayed by legal moves and in fact the jobs will come sooner rather than later.


Major parts of port to be built in Meath

A major change in planning for the new €300 million port at Bremore in north Co Dublin will result in large parts of the infrastructure for the port being transferred from Fingal into County Meath because of the presence of important archaeological monuments on the original site, the Meath Chronicle has learned.

The Drogheda Port Company, in partnership with Castle Market Holdings, intends building a new deepwater port on several hundreds acres at Bremore, close to Balbriggan. While the project will go ahead and is at an advanced stage of planning, large sections of the warehousing, storage and logistical support infrastructure will be shifted away from the site at Bremore, which is the location for a passage tomb cemetery or cluster.

A reliable source told the Meath Chronicle yesterday: "You can take it that the original site for the very large amount of infrastructure required for a port of this size is no longer under consideration. This will be a commercial decision made by the port company itself and will not be imposed by anyone else. It will be taken on the basis that the passage tomb cemetery will remain untouched, and will not be surrounded by industrial and logistical development."

The same source said that while the deepwater facility would be located offshore from Bremore, the logistical structures would be shifted across the border into Meath but would would not be located as far north as the former Irish Air Corps base at Gormanston.

Just over three years ago, Meath County Council rezoned 240 acres of land at Gormanston for industrial and logistics development in the East Meath Development Plan. At the time, Meath County Manager Tom Dowling said that the local authority had opted for industrial zoning due to the potential synergies with the port's development. He told local representatives that the zoning would be a significant opportunity for Meath to generate employment and benefit from the new port.

The possible location of the new port at Bremore has exercised the interest of archaeologists and historians over a number of years. Meath archaeologist George Eogan has said that the site was of "vast historic importance" and may be the site where St Patrick first landed in Ireland. He said that the Bremore site contained a unified prehistoric cemetery of mounds that extends for over a mile from Gormanston, which is north of the Delvin river, to Bremore, located to the south.

"It has the appearance of being a landing place for early people coming to Ireland and passage tombs were the likely burial places for people coming from the Iberian peninsula," he said.

Anthony Murphy, author of 'Island of the Setting Sun' said yesterday (Tuesday) that passage tomb cemeteries, or clusters, were very rare. Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were examples, as were Loughcrew in Meath, Carrowmore and Carrowkeel in Sligo. "There is no doubt but that Bremore is an extremely important site nationally, if not internationally," he said.

Designated as a national monument in 1976, a group of five mounds is situated at the north-east corner of a rocky headland one mile north of Balbriggan.

The site, which comprises of several hundred acres, contains the remnants of a number of passage tombs and practically every field, which is the site for the new Drogheda Port Company facility, contains early Neolithic archaeology.

The site at Bremore has not been excavated but was surveyed by Professor Etienne Rynne of NUI Galway almost 50 years ago.

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — News

24,000 apply for 50 places to see Newgrange solstice

Nearly 24,000 people applied for the Winter Solstice draw in the hope of being in Newgrange on the shortest day of the year. However, just 50 names were selected at the "Winter Solstice Lottery" at the Brú na Bóinne Visitors' Centre last Friday.

Click here for more

Hill of Tara — News

Oscar winner joins anti-Tara motorway lobby

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron and her Irish-born actor boyfriend, Stuart Townsend, have joined the campaign which wants to prevent the new M3 motorway being built around the famous Hill of Tara.

Theron is to have a specially commissioned portrait of herself auctioned in order to raise funds for the campaign against the Clonee-Kells motorway through the Tara Skryne valley.

The South African actress, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a serial killer in Monster, is the girlfriend of the Irish film star Stuart Townsend who has also become a vocal supporter of the anti-motorway campaign.

Townsend said: "Barely anyone has tried to stop what surely will be one of the greatest archeological travesties of our time, second only to the ancient artifacts stolen in Iraq. But they had to start a war to get away with that one. "We here in Ireland seem to just be happy to let road builders dig up and tear through the most ancient and sacred place that exists in our land."

More here:

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Links

101 Facts About Newgrange

A collection of 101 facts about Ireland's most famous monument, the megalithic passage-tomb of Newgrange, located in the Boyne Valley in County Meath, Ireland.

Slieve Gullion — Links

Photographs and information about Slieve Gullion

The mountain of Slieve Gullion is mentioned many many times in the ancient Irish battle epic, the Táin Bó Cuailnge, as Sliabh Cuilinn. There is a lake at the top of the mountain, known as the "Lake of Sorrow", or the Calliag Bheara's lake. There are two cairns either side of the lake.

Baltray (Standing Stones) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Baltray</b>Posted by mythicalireland

Cuchulains Stone (Rathiddy) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Links

The Stone of the Big Man

The folklore behind this stone is probably connected with the High Man, a giant warrior figure, thought to be Cúchulainn, in the landscape of Co. Louth.

Eire — Links

Mythical Ireland - new light on the ancient past

An exploration of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Tara, Loughcrew and other ancient sites of Ireland in the context of art, astronomy, mythology and archaeology.

Carnbane West — Links

Mythical Ireland

Carnbane West at Loughcrew has a higher concentration of remains than Carnbane East, with a total of two large cairns and ten smaller ones still extant on the summit.

Hill of Tara — Links

All about the Hill of Tara

The archaeology, mythology and astronomy of the Hill of Tara. This site includes an interactive map of the monuments and a photo gallery.

Knowth — Links

An astronomical solution to Knowth

Researchers have put forward an interesting theory which may explain the apparently unusual orientation of the eastern and western passages at Knowth.

Dowth — Links

Excavations at Dowth in the 1840s

Dowth was extensively excavated (and damaged) during excavations by the Royal Irish Academy in the 1840s.

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Links

Megalithic art inside Newgrange - exclusive photos

There is some quite intricate megalithic art inside Newgrange, including the world famous "triple spiral" on an orthostat in the end recess of the chamber.

County Meath — Links

The High Man - a vast giant in the Irish landscape

A 12-mile high warrior figure in the ancient road system near the famous Brú na Bóinne megalithic sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Could this be a representation of Cúchulainn, the Irish Orion?

Littlegrange (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Littlegrange</b>Posted by mythicalireland

Littlegrange (Passage Grave) — Links

Townley Hall Megalithic Mound

This site at Brú na Bóinne was excavated in the early 1960s by George Eogan.

Proleek (Portal Tomb) — Links

Proleek Dolmen and Gallery Grave

The megalithic dolmen at Proleek, located in the legendary Cooley Peninsula, is one of the finest examples in Ireland, and is widely photographed and documented.

County Louth — Links

Ballynahattin - Ireland's Stonehenge

A huge Irish monument once dubbed Ireland's "Stonehenge", may at one time have been a "school of astronomy", where ancient skywatchers studied the risings of various heavenly bodies during the year.

Carnbane East — Links

Mythical Ireland Loughcrew Gallery

A gallery of photographs of Carnbane East at Loughcrew taken on Winter Solstice. Including photos from Inside Cairn T.

Hill of Slane Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Links

Photo of Slane Hill Barrow

A page about the ancient Hill of Slane including a picture of the barrow.

Hill Of Slane — Links

Mythical Ireland - The Hill of Slane

All about the Hill of Slane - its monuments, including the ancient Mound of Slaine, and the barrow, plus more recent Christian era structures.

Fourknocks (Passage Grave) — Links

Mythical Ireland - Fourknocks pictures and information

Fourknocks: ground plan, finds, photos of art work, alignments and astronomy.

Barnaveddoge — Links

Mythical Ireland - Barnaveddoge standing stones

Interesting alignments at Barnaveddoge, plus nice photographs.

Baltray (Standing Stones) — Links

Mythical Ireland - Winter Solstice discovery at Baltray

Local researchers have discovered the Baltray standing stones have a Winter Solstice alignment, confirmed in local mythology.

Carnbane East — Links

Mythical Ireland - Beautiful pictures from inside Cairn T

One of these stones looks like a star map.

Dowth I (Passage Grave) — Links

Mythical Ireland - Dowth's ancient art

Prehistoric engravings on the stones at Dowth

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Links

Mythical Ireland - Newgrange aerial photos

Photographs of Newgrange from the air.

Knowth — Links

Mythical Ireland - Knowth kerbstone photos

The most comprehensive collection of Knowth photographs on the web.
mythicalireland hasn't added a profile

My TMA Content: