"A fascinating insight into Ireland's ancient burial sites" - Irish Independent
ANOTHER ASTRONOMICAL DISCOVERY BY THE MYTHICAL IRELAND TEAM
Proleek Dolmen's Summer Solstice secret
Ancient cromlech is oriented towards Slieve Gullion for Summer Solstice sunset
It is known as the ‘Giant’s Load’ and, when you stand under the great capstone of Proleek Dolmen, it’s not difficult to see why. This huge boulder is reputed to weigh around 40 tonnes, yet it sits comfortably on top of three upright stones as if it was a sheet of paper and not a giant rock. Legend says the stone was carried there by a Scottish giant called Parrah Boug McShagean, who is reputed to be buried nearby. Another tale says it was brought by a giant from a nearby mountain. Proleek is one of Ireland’s best-known examples of what archaeologists call a Portal Tomb or Dolmen, and photographs of the monument are featured far and wide. A new theory suggests the tomb may have been deliberately aligned towards Slieve Gullion, where on the summer solstice, the sun sets behind the mountain. Anthony Murphy, who is co-author of the book ‘Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers’, says the opening of the portal tomb is roughly aligned towards summer sunset, which he observed directly a few weeks ago. “This tomb seems to open towards Slieve Gullion, which is very interesting because Gullion has two passagetombs on its peak,” Mr Murphy said this week. “And this was a widespread practice in ancient times - to align one monument towards other monuments or significant landscape features in conjunction with astronomical events.” “The tomb is likely to have featured an alignment towards the moon also,” he said. “The moonset at the time of what astronomers call ‘major lunar standstill’ would probably set in line with the opening of the Proleek Dolmen.” Read more about this fascinating discovery here.
Latest video - June news bulletin 2
New video: June news2
Mythical Ireland has expanded with a new section devoted to giving you a taste of Ireland in audio visual. Our new video section will feature short movies which will add a new dimension to the whole Mythical Ireland experience. While we strive to give you a good flavour of ancient Ireland and its myths in words and pictures, we would like to allow you to see in moving imagery the sights that Ireland has to offer.
The latest video is our second news bulletin, brought to you by Anthony Murphy, detailing some of the exciting things happening right now at the time of midsummer, including the release of a new book about Newgrange by Matthew and Geraldine Stout. Our new video page can be found by clicking this link. Older news bulletins are on our news page. We do hope you enjoy this new experience!
Mythical Ireland Tours
Explore the mythical landscapes and hear the ancient stories and monuments decoded in our new tours of ancient Ireland. Visit the Boyne Valley or tour the High Man's mystic landscape. Click here to read more and for booking information.
mounts to the heavens, the heavens descend to earth, earth lies under
everyone is strong . . ." Victory song of the Morrigan,
Book of Fermoy
"In the old time the people used to be looking at the moon and at the sun and the rest of the stars, travelling and ever-travelling, through the day, and at the flowing and ever-flowing of the world's wells and rivers, and at the sadness of the earth and the trance and the sleep of it with the coming of winter, and the rising of the world again with the coming of the summer." Great Wonders of the Olden Time, from Lady Gregory's Saints and Wonders