“Anyone who plunges into the past realizes, as St. Augustine did in the 4th century, that the past is not the past. It is merely a dimension of the mind, waiting to be revived in the imagination…waiting to be remembered.” — Robert Meagher
How many layers of time does Ancient Ireland cover? It’s certainly older than the quaint villages, many of which were built on top of castles and medieval towns. Is Ancient Ireland the time of St. Patrick? Or perhaps it begins before, during the time of the Druids. Now we’ve reached back through Christian Ireland to Celtic Ireland, and surely that must be ancient. Well, yes and no…
The truly ancient sites in Ireland such as the Boyne Valley, Newgrange and the Hill of Tara are 1,000s of years older than the Celts and the Christians. Who were these people? However mysterious they are, the Celts were latecomers to Ireland. Here is what we do know about the earliest people in Ireland: They lived during a time when Ireland simply wasn’t Irish. Not yet, and not in the way we think of it now.
Ireland’s ancient history is only recently coming to light. Now it shares the spotlight with Greece in travelers who are hungry for a taste of the ancient mixed with a taste of connection to land and place. In almost every farmer’s field, some piece of Ancient Ireland has been found by the plow or the shovel.
Newgrange is 500 years older than the Pyramids. Stonehenge, built 1,000 years after Newgrange, may have been built of stones that came from Ireland. These Stonehenge rocks do not exist in the area of Stonehenge, but they are abundant in megalithic parts of Ireland. How did they get to the UK?
Featured Writers: Win and Meredith Blevins