2014 Ireland & Worldcon trip
Hill of Tara &
the Boyne Valley
August 10, 2014

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Stone of Destiny
The Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny)
Slane Bridge -  County Meath, Ireland
Slane Bridge sates from the 14th Century, but major improvements were carried out on the structure in 1776.
There are 12 arches.

Sunday (continued)

Leaving Newgrange, we drove along the Boyne Valley, paralleling the River Boyne and traveling down river. We drove through the Village of Slane and past many interesting ruins.

Slane Castle
Slane Castle was built in 1785. It hosts huge concerts, castle weddings and is home of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey.

Donaghmore Round Tower - County Meath, Ireland
Donaghmore Round Tower - The original monastery at this site is attributed to St. Patrick. The tower was restored
in 1841. The gable wall to the right is from a 15th century medieval church.

The second stop was the Hill of Tara, the seat of well over 100 kings in historic and prehistoric times. The hill has hundreds of ruins, markers and other structures including another megalithic tomb called the Mound of the Hostages. The hill is more broad than tall (500 feet tall and 1,000 feet by 800 feet), but we could see part of about half the counties of Ireland at the summit near the 1822 deconsecrated Saint Patrick's Church which now serves as the visitor's center.

The Stone of Destiny at the top of this page is supposed to let out a screech that can be heard all over Ireland if the next King of Ireland touches it. I didn't touch it and take the chance.

Saint Patrick's Church at thte Hill of Tara
Saint Patrick's Church and graveyard

Abandoned Irish stone church and cemetery
I haven't been able to identify this church and cemetery. It is much closer than the Hill of Slane.

Mound of the hostages passage tomb
This small passage tomb is known as the Mound of the Hostages and dates to around 2500 BCE.
It is one of only two monuments at Tara that have been excavated.

Interior of the Mound of the Hostages
Interior of the Mound of the Hostages passage tomb. There is Megalithic art in the stone at the left.

Memorial Cross on Hill of Tara
Memorial Cross for those who died in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. 

Saint Patrick's Church
Interior of Saint Patrick's Church

St. Patrick statue - Hill of Tara
Statue of St. Patrick - The legend is that St. Patrick visited Tara in the 430s AD/
after lighting his "Paschal fire" on the nearby Hill of Slane.

Old Book Shop - Hill of Tara
Old Book Shop built from stone that was part of an earlier church which was destroyed during the
Battle of Tara during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Michael Slavin in the Old Book Shop in Tara
 The owner of the Old Book Shop, Michael Slavin, is the author of "The Book of Tara."

Mary Gibbons
Tour guide, Mary Gibbons, during the bus ride back to Dublin.

During the bus ride back to Dublin, Mary Gibbons, encouraged people to visit the National Museum of Ireland to see artifacts relating to the locations which we had visited during the tour. One of the drop off points was near that museum, but we chose to be dropped at the same place where we were picked up in the morning.

Returning to Dublin in the late afternoon, we explored some of the shops along and near O'Connell Street, Dublin's main thoroughfare. The rain was still coming and going, but heavier and after visiting a few shops we took a taxi back to our hotel for a brief break before the evening. 

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copyright 2014 by Keith Stokes.