Now uninhabited, Scattery was lived in from the time St Senen established a monastery there in 534 until the last Islanders left in 1978.
It fascinating history encompasses monsters, Vikings, the Spanish Armada, invasions that never happened and a small Island community who had a unique approach to death. Not many people go there – you should.Read More
Killykeen is a large forested area beside Lough Oughter in Co Cavan, which as well as good walks has an interesting ruined castle on an Island and a number of ancient megalithic structure, the largest of which is the Gartnanoul Court Tomb.
The park is in the care of Coillte, the Irish Forestry Board, and is also a popular area with anglers and bird watchers. Admission to Killykeen is free.Read More
This gallery is home to the National art collection which is an eclectic collection spanning all periods of art from the 14th century on.
It’s broadly in two parts, the old wing housed in an historic Georgian building, and the ultra modern Millenium wing, an example of excellent modern architecture worth seeing in its own right.Read More
These somewhat strange carvings of women are widely found in Ireland and while in times past people found them horrifying, even disgusting, there is now much interest in them.
Although often found in churches it is generally agreed that they are pre-Christian in origin, but exactly what they signify is not known.Read More
These distinctive structures,created between 3000 BC and 2000 BC mark burial places in a very distinctive way. They are common in Ireland and easily found in many parts of the country.
Mostly they comprise three standing stones which hold a larger capstone on top and the largest are really vast with capstones commonly weighing over 80 ton.Read More
An architectural gem, this folly was built as a garden pavilion for James Caulfield, the 1st Earl of Charlemont, a wealthy landowner with a huge interest in art.
The design is based on classical Greek architecture for which the young earl acquired a taste during visits to Italy and Greece while on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. It is not now, and never was, a gambling casino!Read More
Once a vast ecclesiastical city, the monastic settlements of Clonmacnoise were among the most important in Europe, and left us a rich heritage of archtecture, art and learning.
Its strategic location on the Shannon, dividing the east and west of Ireland, was a perfect place for such a center of learning, but also made it a target warring Irish tribes and later on invaders, and eventually led to its downfall.Read More
One of the oldest lighthouses in the world, the light from Hook Head has been shining its beacon more or less continuously for over 800 years.
Since then its gone from being a simple fire lit by a monk, through being oil and coal powered to today’s automated electric light.Read More
Charles Fort is a massive structure, with walls up to 6m thick and five defensive bastions around its perimeter. Its star shape provided better defenses than earlier round forts, and was a common style of fort throughout Europe and beyond.
Although much of it is in poor enough condition, battered by generations of battles, it is one of the best remaining examples of a star-shaped fort in Europe.Read More
This is a domestic scale castle, typical of the type a wealthy family would have lived in in Norman Ireland. In this case it was the home of the DeBarry family, who came to Ireland via Wales in 1185 and were given large tracts of land in East Cork by King John of England.
The castle was not just a home, it was designed too for easy defense, with almost impenetrable walls and good views of all approaches.Read More
Built around 1500, and a typical urban tower house of that time, Desmond Castle has had a varied, if not always illustrious, serving variously as a home, a prison, a workhouse, a tollhouse and now a museum.
It now houses a Wine Museum, documenting Ireland’s surprisingly extensive involvement in European wine making since as early as 1412.Read More