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Aran Inspired

Corracloona Megalithic Tomb / Prince Connell's Grave

This ancient burial site located at Corracloona, a small townland (parcel of land) near the village of Kiltyclogher in County Leitrim is known locally as Prince Connell’s Grave. While it may look like just a bunch of rocks in a field, this rectangular shaped "court tomb" in fact dates from the early Bronze Age (2,000 - 1500 BC).

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Rathcrogan and Glenballythomas Earthworks

A grouping of ancient earthworks that covers nearly two square miles, this ancient site includes ring forts and a large mound that may actually be a passage tomb similar to the Mound of the Hostages at Tara in County Meath. There are a number of enclosures that also appear to be tombs. One is said to be that of King Dathi, the last of the pagan kings of Ireland. It is marked by a standing stone nearly seven feet tall. Megalithic tombs of several varieties are common to this area as well.

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Navan Fort / Emain Macha

Just 2 miles (3.4km) west of Armagh city, Navan Fort is a large circular earthworks structure that is believed to have been an important site for Ireland's high kings as far back as 2,500 years ago. Surrounding a drumlin with an internal diameter of around 240 metres, Navan Fort resembles the better-known ancient mound at Newgrange. Despite its name, the site has no connection with the town of Navan in County Meath. The name Navan in this case derives from the site's original Gaelic name, Emain Macha (Ay-vawn Mack-a), thought to mean "the twins of Macha" (in Irish mythology, Macha was a goddess of war). Also deceptive is the word "fort”: the mound structure's low layout, and finds at the site, suggests it was more ceremonial than defensive.

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The Hill of Tara

Around 5,000 years old, the Hill of Tara in County Meath was the seat of power for ancient Ireland's high kings. Less than an hour's drive from Dublin, Tara has an innocuously serene rural setting, yet a high concentration of ancient ceremonial monuments have been uncovered at the location, which has not been thoroughly excavated.

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Carrowmore Megalithic Burial Ground

More than 200 megalithic monuments once stood on this site, located to the west of Sligo Town. Both man and nature have destroyed many of the passage tombs and dolmens over the years, but today there are still about 40 burial sites to be explored in this ancient cemetery, spread out over roughly 40 acres of land. Carrowmore is both the oldest and largest burial ground in Ireland, dating back to prehistoric times.

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Beaghmore Stone Circles

This intriguing mystery from the Stone or Early Bronze Age is located in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains at Beaghmore, which translates from the Irish as “moor of the birches”. Past visitors would advise you to bring a jacket – even in summer, as the site is almost always windy. The Beaghmore Stones rise proudly from the land in seven circular formations, alongside a dozen ancient cairns. They had lain under bog – undisturbed for thousands of years – until, in 1945, a group of local farmers unearthed them while cutting peat in a remote moorland area on the southern fringe of the Sperrin Mountains.

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Brownshill Dolmen

The Brownshill Dolmen is a megalithic portal tomb situated 3km / 2 miles east of Carlow town, and looks like a piece of Stonehenge got transplanted to Ireland. This megalithic burial chamber dates back to around 3500 BCE.

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Cavan County Museum

Housed in a 19th century former convent in Ballyjamesduff, the Cavan County Museum opened in June 1996. In the peaceful realm that used to be occupied by the Poor Clare order, the museum traces the history of Cavan from the Stone Age through modern times using a variety of exhibits.

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Drumlane Abbey

Drumlane abbey is an ancient ruin in a scenic location overlooking a lake, accessed via a narrow country laneway, 4 miles / 6.5km from Belturbet, County Cavan. A truly hidden gem, the abbey lies just outside the small rural village of Milltown, and is accessible only via a narrow country laneway. Saint Mogue, who has close associations with County Cavan, was long believed to have established the original monastery on this site in the 6th century.

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Newgrange

Built 1,000 years before Stonehenge, Newgrange is Ireland’s best-known prehistoric monument. Located in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, it is arguably Europe’s finest example of a megalithic passage grave. According to the most reliable Carbon 14 dating technique carried out at Newgrange, the structure was erected around 3200 BC, 600 years before the Giza Pyramids in Cairo. Built atop a small hillock, the tomb consists of a vast stone and turf mound about 85 metres in diameter and 13.5 metres high.

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