Written on Oct. 22/07 from my trip to Ireland.
This is all still part of our very busy Saturday. After we left Newgrange we trotted up to the Hill of Tara. At one point, at a four-way intersection there were two signs at right angles, both saying Tara. Ah those funny Irish. Turns out one was for the town and one for the Hill. Hard to tell though I think we found the “brown” heritage/tourist sign at one point. Not that it pointed the right way either.
After stopping at a gas station (let me guess, said the owner, you’re lost and looking for the Hill of Tara–only about 100 people have come by) we found our way. The Hill of Tara is…well, a hill, a great big, luscious green hill, with a mound or two, with runnels around it. It’s a hill (Cormac’s House), a hill fort, a passage tomb (mound of the hostages) and numerous other things. I don’t think we saw all of it as it was a murky wet day and wet grass makes things soggy. The Stone of Destiny shown in some of the pictures was supposedly moved in 1798 to commemorate the death of 400 Irishmen who fought the British. It was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland from the 6-12th centuries and the stone was said to cry out when the true king touched it. (I wonder how they worked that miracle).
There is a little cemetery and church dating back only a couple of hundred years I believe. Or at least the stones we could see. But the age of the Hill of Tara goes back to neolithic times with other parts being of Roman and medieval times. Its significance is still great in Ireland. But there is danger of a motorway being put through this historic hill and a petition is being circulated to stop the motorway from destroying it.
We went on to Trim castle which was founded by Hugh de Lacy in the 12th century. Its more recent claim to fame is that it was used in filming Braveheart. But the ruins are quite fabulous. We hit it at the end of the day and didn’t get the tour of the inside of the castle. I believe it’s only a ruin though, no furniture. The tour would have consisted of talking about its different defenses and construction techniques as the tower has twenty sides.
There was a lovely little wedding going one with the men in coats and tails. Yeah, if I ever got married a castle would definitely be a great setting. We didn’t really stick around in Trim, the town, but drove through to an abbey, shown in the next set.
On my other blog, I posted over a couple of months pictures and small write-ups of my trip to Ireland last October. I recently received this comment on my piece titled “Hill of Tara and Trim Castle” http://colleen-anderson.blogspot.com/2007/10/hill-of-tara-and-trim-castle.html
You may not be aware that a motorway – M3 is being built through the valley at the foot of Tara.
National surveys have shown that 70% of Irish people want the M3 rerouted and an Irish Times online survey showed that 82% of people want Tara declared a UNESCO site.
– The World Monuments Fund has placed the Hill of Tara on the 2008 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
Perhaps you would kindly publicise this petition. Thank you and best wishes
PETITION TO UNESCO AND ICOMOS to save the Hill of Tara archaeological complex and cultural landscape from construction of the M3 motorway, in Ireland.
THIS PETITION is addressed to:
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which includes:
– The Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura
– The Executive Committee of the General Conference
– The Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, called the World Heritage Committee
– All parties in attendance at the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee, Quebec, Canada, 2-10 July 2008.
– The Irish UNESCO Representatives
Tara has a history going back through many changes. It was a last stand and a ruling pinnacle at times. It’s more impressive in aerial photos but that doesn’t negate its significance. When we were on Tara that rainy day, that hill that has existed for centuries, we heard then from some Irish people about the impending motorway. It’s up to everyone to make their own decision but aspects of history once gone are gone for good.