Hill of Tara - Cnoc na Teamhrach

The Hill of Tara contains a number of archaeological monuments and is traditionally linked to the High Kings of Ireland who were said to rule over lesser kings from Tara. It is associated in mythology with the Tuatha De Danaan peoples and is an important Celtic heritage site.

At the top of the hill is Raith na Riogh Iron Age hill top enclosure surrounded by a bank and ditch covering an area of over 1,040 feet by 866 feet. Within it are two linked enclosures, Teach Chormaic and Farradh and in the middle of Forradh is a standing stone, Lia Fail where it is said that the High Kings were crowned.

North from the ring forts is Dhuma na nGiall a Neolithic passage tomb. To the north of Raith na Riogh is the three banked ringfort of Raith na Seanadh and to the north of that is the rectangular Teach Miodhchuarta, a possible ceremonial avenue and three round earthworks.

To the south of Raith na Riogh is Raith Laoghaire hillfort and about another half a mile south is Raith Maeve.

Imbolc or Cross Quarter Day

The Imbolc or Cross Quarter festival welcomes in the beginning of spring. It was an important festival to the Neolithic Celts, who have been celebrating Imbolc at the Hill of Tara for over 5,000 years. Imbolc is derived from old Irish Gaelic "i mbolg" which means "in the belly" and refers to how sheep at this time of year begin to produce milk and have full udders.

Getting there

The Hill of Tara is located southwest from Drogheda and Duleek and is to the south of Junction 7 of the M3.

Local accommodation

Most recommended hotels near the Hill of Tara.

Links to other websites

  • Knowth.com has a page about the Hill of Tara with detailed information and photos.
  • Newgrange.com has more information on Imbolc.

 

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