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

Dronehenge reimagined: 3D models of late Neolithic henge at Newgrange

New 3D computer models commissioned by Mythical Ireland attempt to show what 'Dronehenge', the late Neolithic henge discovered during the drought in July 2018, might have looked like. The artist's illustrations give us some insight into this gigantic monument and what it might have appeared like when it was built.

 

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The Milky Way - the twining branches of Deirdre and her lover Naoise

The Milky Way galaxy and Venus over Síd in Broga (Newgrange passage-mound) at Brú na Bóinne. The Milky Way had many names in Irish myth and tradition. One of the traditions is that two trees grew out of the graves of two lovers who had been buried either side of a lake, and that the branches of the two trees connected in the sky over the lake.

 

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The snail shells and spirals of Newgrange

Hundreds of snail shells were found in thin layers of earth and stone in the cairn of Newgrange during excavations there in the 1960s. 

 

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The lunar symbolism of kerb stone 78 at Knowth

This is kerb stone 78 at Knowth, located not far from the entrance to the western passage. It is one of 127 kerb stones at Knowth, of which 90 have megalithic art. But what do these symbols represent, if anything? Are they merely art for art’s sake?

 

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The new henge of Newgrange: the moment of discovery recalled

As we come to the end of 2018, Mythical Ireland's Anthony Murphy recalls the moment when he discovered a previously unrecorded late Neolithic henge monument near Newgrange with his drone, in company with Ken Williams.

 

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Farewell 2018 - the year in photographs

As we say goodbye to 2018, which was a fantastic year for Mythical Ireland, I've had a look through my photographs for the past year and am sharing my favourites here.

 

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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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