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The High Man - a giant warrior in the landscape

Drogheda Leader newspaper, March 3rd, 2004

If you look at a roadmap or an Ordnance Survey map of Louth, and focus on the roads towards the south of the county between the river Boyne and the river Dee, there is something very peculiar and interesting.

There, etched into the landscape by a system of roads, is a giant human-like figure.
It's like a huge warrior. He (we'll call him a man for reasons to be explained later) seems to be standing in the river Boyne, with one leg at Drogheda and the other at Slane.

He appears to have a belt which runs straight across from Collon to Leabby Cross. His head, and mane of hair are up towards Ardee, with his hair at Smarmore and his nose and mouth at Kildemock.

He appears to have a giant arm stretched out towards the Irish Sea, with his wrist at Dunleer. And he even appears to be holding a giant shield. This whole area is steeped in mythical, archaeological and astronomical history.

The High Man posterCúchulainn, who is described as a "huge, high hero", calls Muirthemne plain, the old name for Louth, his own. Amergin, the warrior-poet of the invading Milesians, a self-confessed
astronomer, calls himself "a gigantic, sword-wielding champion".

The warrior road figure is found in an area called the Barony of Ferrard, which comes from Fear/Fir Ard, the High Man/Men, originally Fir Ard Cianachta.

So how old is this figure? It was present on the Taylor-Skinner map of 1778. How much further back it goes is a mystery. The territory of Cianachta (the race of Cian) goes all the way back to the third century. Perhaps these roads, some of which are very straight, often for miles, were built on much older roads.

What we do know is that the High Man looks a bit like a representation of the constellation Orion, and there is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that the people who inhabited the Boyne Valley area in ancient times were expert astronomers.

They may even have carved a representation of Orion's Belt stars onto a stone at Newgrange.
A poster which explores the High Man and the plethora of ancient mythical and astronomical sites around the area has been produced in conjunction with local artist Richard Moore.
The poster will be launched at an exhibition of his paintings in Millmount on Monday, March 22nd. It will be on sale at the Brú na Bóinne Interpretative Centre from this week.

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High Man sidebar
The High Man
IMPORTANT PLACES
& INFORMATION
Hill of Tara - seat of the kings
Slane - St. Patrick's fire
Newgrange - Brú na Bóinne
Dowth - place of darkness
Knowth - Moon cycles
Millmount - Drogheda
Rockabill - Dabilla
Baltray - Standing Stones
Boyne River - Milky Way
Mellifont -the "pleasant plain"
Mount Oriel - "Golden Hostages"
Kildemock - "Jumping Church"
Garrett's Fort - enchanted army
Ardee - Caiseal Guth-Aird
Louth - Lugh's mound
Dunleer - Lann Léire
Astronomical art -various
Orion -great warrior of the sky
The roads -straight and ancient
The Poster

The High Man poster is a high-quality B2-sized poster which is laminated and features a silver glitter effect along the river Boyne. The poster will make a great present for anyone interested in Irish ancient sites and their mythology, astronomy, art and archaeology. The poster is a limited edition production. It is priced 15 euro. (P&P extra)

The poster is also available to buy at tbe Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, Donore, Co. Meath. (Phone: +353 41 9880300)
News Articles
The High Man - a giant warrior in the landscape - Drogheda Leader
Five year research project uncovers giant depiction of ancient warrior - Meath Chronicle article
Researchers highlight "High Man" road link in South Louth - Drogheda Independent article
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More Information

The High Man - a comprehensive talk about aspects of this fascinating theory. Find out more about the High Man here.

There is considerable information relating to various aspects of the High Man poster on the Mythical Ireland website.

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