Emerald Isle

Royal Sites

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Royal Sites of Ireland

The courts of Gaelic Kings and Queens, great athletic competitions, ferocious battles, mystical rituals and inaugurations and more took place at the Royal Sites of Ireland. Throngs of Gaels, heroes, druids and wanderers gathered at these places to celebrate, to hear judgements, or to vie for power. There are many such sites, each associated with an Irish kingdom, of varying degrees of importance, but the five oldest and largest have served as centres of cultural, political and spiritual power for many thousands of years.

Remnants of ceremonial pathways, barrow tombs, dolmens and standing stones have been found in and around these sites, as well as strange wooden structures and other artifacts spanning every age of Ireland from the Neolithic to the Iron age. They often featured sacred trees or "bileda", stone chairs, inauguration stones, stone basins, as well as mound and circular enclosure structures.

The five major sites, master-places of the five provinces, cóiceds in Irish, or "fifths", were Tara or Teamhair, seat of the Kings of Meath and the High King, along with the provincial capitals, Navan Fort or Eamhain Macha for Ulster, Rathcroghan or Cruachan for Connacht, Knockaulin or Dún Ailinne for Leinster, and Cashel or Caiseal for Munster.

Uisneach was considered a sixth Royal Site since it was the centre of Ireland and where all five provinces touched, and was perhaps used as a meeting place for the Kings when needed.

Here are a few of the lesser Royal Sites of Ireland:

Incredible Royal Sites of Ancient Ireland

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