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Ancient Treasures of Ireland

Millions of visitors come to Ireland each year to see at first hand the innumerable ancient treasures that abound in the countryside and in Ireland's museums. Treasure isn't always measured in gold in Ireland and the castles, cottages, and landscape are all part of Ireland's treasure.  Ireland's cities and towns are where to be if you do wish to see the country's magnificent Gold treasure.  The National museum in Dublin has a magnificent collection that you will not want to miss. 

Broighter Hoard 
Gold Boat from Broighter Hoard - 100BC

Newgrange Neolithic Passage Tomb:  At 5,200 years old, it is older than the pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge in England and is a proud showpiece for Irish Archaeology.  Newgrange is classified as a Passage Tomb and was built during the Neolithic period. This is when farming first began in Ireland.  It covers an area of one acre.  The entrance to the site is Brú na Bóinne Visitors' Centre at Donore in County Meath. Don't miss it. 

Newgrange photo from Telegraph
Newgrange, Ireland

Navan Fort: According to Professor Michael J. Kelly, This hilltop Fort was once the Capital of Ulster.  The name Navan comes from the word Emhain.  The site was at one time a domestic site but later was used for ceremonial ritual. It is suggested by O'Kelly that the builders of Navan Fort were also the builders of the great dyke earthworks which marked the boundaries of the kingdom.  This dyke network is called the Dorsey.

     Navan Fort
Navan Fort, Ireland

Castles of Ireland: There are more pages on this site where you can find out about Irelands castles and tower-houses.   Most of the stone castles still visible in the Irish countryside date from the 12th century.  Many were built after the arrival of the Normans in 1169. Ireland has more Castles for its size that any other country in Europe.  Great examples can be seen at Ross Castle, Killarney, St. John's Castle at Limerick; Cahir Castle at Cahir, Co. Tipperary (welcomes visitors) ; Bunratty Co. Clare; Blarney Castle with the famous Blarney Stone at Blarney, County Cork; Kilkenny Castle which is in pristine condition and welcomes visitors, Malahide Co. Dublin, and many more. The Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary is not to be missed!


Trim Castle

Waterford: Waterford City boasts one of the few Viking Buildings still standing in Ireland,  Reginald's Tower dates from the tenth century and is easily taken for granted in its setting near the quays in Waterford city. Waterford has, in recent years, developed a wonderful museum where you can see at first hand the city's ancient treasures.  The city is built on the River Suir, a navigable river which enters the sea at Dunmore East.  Waterford city houses the Church Records for the diocese of Waterford and Lismore.  The name of the city comes from the Norse word Vedrarfjiordr.


Reginald's Castle Waterford

Irish Cottages: Don't forget that while Ireland has innumerable castles and forts and tower-houses, the most treasured buildings are surely the Irish Cottages which can be seen in most parts of the country.  Modern building requirements, fashions and standards have caused a decline in the number of Irish Cottages in recent years but it's worth keeping an eye out for thatched cottages as you drive around Ireland.

Cottage on right thatched by Paul Johnson.

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Ancient Treasures of Ireland, Newgrange, Broighter, Navan,

Waterford, Trim, Castles, Irish Cottages