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Mythical Ireland

The Hag's Chair, Cairn T, illuminated at dusk

The Hag's Chair, Cairn T, illuminated at dusk

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The Hag's Chair at Cairn T, Slieve na Calliagh, Loughcrew, Co. Meath, is the single most extraordinary kerb stone of any passage-tomb monument from the Neolithic Ireland. Shaped just like an enormous stone throne, it is on the northern rim of the kerb of stones that surrounds Cairn T (the Hag's Cairn), a monument thought to be a few centuries older than 5,000 years ago.

I captured this view, featuring its megalithic art along with the graffiti of more recent centuries, at dusk and used remote lighting techniques to carefully illuminate the engravings on the north-facing side of this giant stone.

Cairn T is famous for its alignment towards the rising sun on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. In folklore, the cairns on the hills of Loughcrew were said to have been created by the Cailleach when she jumped from hill to hill dropping stones from her apron to form the cairns.

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