One of the most famous historic sites in Ireland, the Hill of Tara was once the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland, with over 140 ancient High Kings reigning from Tara. The famous ‘Stone of Destiny’ was the coronation stone, and remains in place at Tara today.
There are several ancient monuments located at the Hill of Tara, with some of the earliest settlers in the area arriving almost 6,000 years ago, while the small Neolithic passage tomb known as the Mound of Hostages is thought to date back to around 2500BC – 3500BC. The tomb got this name due to its role as a location for keeping hostages, with Niall of the Nine Hostages one of the most legendary kings associated with the mound.
The Hill of Tara holds huge mythical significance as it was an area of huge importance in ancient Irish religious times, as Temair (the Irish for Hill of Tara) was thought to be a sacred place of dwelling for mythical Gods, and indeed it is thought that the Mythical Goddess Maeve, approved the ancient High Kings during their inauguration ceremonies.
One of several ancient Irish sites located near the River Boyne, the Hill of Tara also contains a number of ancient monuments and is thought to be one of the largest Celtic monuments in Europe. The Hill of Tara provides a great insight into the lives of some of the earliest settlers in Ireland, and the ancient rituals that formed part of everyday life.
Today, the Hill of Tara is free to access, and one of the highlights of Ireland’s Ancient East. An audio visual show can be enjoyed at the visitor centre, while views across the Boyne Valley and further afield can be enjoyed when you scale this majestic collection of hills. St. Patrick’s Church is also located near to the Hill of Tara, with St Patrick himself rumoured to have visited the area to confront the ancient pagans.