About Mythical Ireland

Mythical Ireland was established in March of the year 2000 by journalist, author and researcher Anthony Murphy. The website represents a journey into the ancient past, and attempts to cast new light on a sometimes obscure period of the early history of Ireland. This exploration takes place through many different disciplines, which include, but are not limited to, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, mythology, spirituality and geodesy.

The great 5,000-year-old megalithic passage-tombs of Brú na Bóinne in the Boyne Valley represent the zenith of a phase of Irish prehistory that began with the introduction of farming around 6,000 years ago. Newgrange, Knowth and

Dowth are huge, enigmatic structures, that are the finest examples of a type of monument that is found scattered throughout Ireland, and of which there may be as many as 1,500 examples. None can compare to these three, though, in terms of size, grandeur, and their illustrious prominence in the ancient myths.

Anthony’s exploration encompasses many different facets of these great monuments. He invites you to step into this ancient world, and through the various media of words, photography and video/film, to enjoy a unique glimpse a past that seems very much alive.

Ancient Ireland

Ancient Ireland

Ancient Sites

Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.

Ancient Ireland

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Myths & Legends

Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.

Ancient Ireland

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Astronomy & the Sky

There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.

Ancient Ireland

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A Journey Into Ireland's Ancient Past

Mythical Ireland Blog

A spectre in the silvery twilight at Síd in Broga

In the pale, cool light of autumn, a warm glow radiates from the old stones of Síd in Broga. The night watchman is here. The night watchwoman. Mrs. Hickey, the long-time custodian of this magnificent monument, long dead, still lives.

 

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My new book about 'Dronehenge' is complete

My new book about the discovery of Dronehenge is complete. My proofreading of the draft was finished during the past week and all chapters have been sent to Liffey Press. The text runs to about 68,000 words – not bad considering I started writing it on 9th April!! All images for the book have been sent to Liffey Press also.

 

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Watch: A modern miracle at Fourknocks – the sun illuminates ancient art

In June, during a visit to the Neolithic passage-tomb of Fourknocks in Co. Meath, I was witness to a beautiful phenomenon that resulted from a combination of modern architecture and ancient art. Megalithic art – engravings made upon stone by humans around 5,000 years ago – was being illuminated by a pulsating beam of the summer sun, emerging through a narrow slit in the roof.

 

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Irish population was falling before Vikings arrived

There was a "serious decline" in the population of Ireland in the two centuries preceding the arrival of the Vikings, a new study has revealed.

 

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Mythical Ireland's Anthony Murphy to give lecture at Princeton University

I am delighted to announce that I will be giving my first ever lecture in the United States in November. I have been invited by Paul Muldoon, Pulitzer Prize winning Irish poet, to deliver a talk about the discovery of Dronehenge at Newgrange, at Princeton University.

 

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The mysterious mound beneath Millmount - a Bronze Age barrow?

Sophisticated archaeological techniques were unable to determine with any certainty whether the mound supporting the Martello tower of Millmount, Drogheda, could be older than Norman times, as suggested in local folklore.

 

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In search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers

Mythical Ireland Galleries

New Henge

In July 2018, a previously unrecorded henge or ceremonial enclosure was discovered in crop marks just 750 metres from the Newgrange passage-tomb. 

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Newgrange

Newgrange is the most famous, and perhaps the most sacred, of the ancient megalithic monuments of Ireland. I go there often with the camera, and capture its many moods.

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Knowth

Knowth, a sister of Newgrange, is a fascinating and complex series of monuments. I am lucky to have had regular access there for photographs over the years, revealing many of its extraordinary facets.

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Monasterboice

Monasterboice is an ecclesiastical site in County Louth, close to the Boyne Valley megalithic monuments. It has a fine round tower and some of the best examples of Irish high crosses, making it a wonderfully atmospheric location for photography.

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Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley is a landscape steeped in myth and history, and monuments from all era's of Ireland's fascinating history. It's the centre of my universe. I love photographing all of its varied hues and moods.

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Loughcrew

Loughcrew is one of my favourite places in all the world. Ancient, rugged, atmospheric and ancestral, it is imbued with a great power and is one of the most photogenic areas of Ireland.

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