The Hill of Tara (Irish: Cnoc na Teamhrach , [1] Team Hair or Team Hair na Rí ), located near the River Boyne, is an archaeological complex that runs between Navan ochDunshaughlin in County Meath, Ireland. It contains a number of ancient monuments and according to tradition, was the seat of högkung.


Ancient monuments

On top of the hill, north of the ridge, is an oval Iron Age hilltop enclosure, which measures 318 meters (1,043 ft) north-south by 264 meters (866 feet) east-west and is surrounded by an internal ditch and external bank, known asRaith na Ríogh (Fort of the Kings, also known as the Royal Enclosure). The most prominent earthworks within are the two linked enclosures, a bivallate (double abandoned) ring fort and a bivallate ring barrow known as Teach Chormaic (Cormac’s House) and Forradh or Royal Seat. The center ofForradh is a standing stone, believed to be the Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny) in which High Kings crowned. According to legend, the stone would scream if a number of challenges met by the prospective kung.Vid his touch stone would let out a scream that could be heard all over Ireland. North of the ring-forts is a small neolithic passage grave called Dumha na nGiall (the Mound of Hostages), which was constructed around 3400 (Cal.) BC.

In the north, just outside the limits of Raith na Rí , is a ring fort with three banks called Raith na Seanadh (Rath of the Synods). Excavations of this monument have produced Roman artifacts dating from the 1st-3rd quarters.

Further north is a long, narrow rectangular feature known as the banquet hall ( Teach Miodhchuarta ), although it is more likely to have been a ceremonial avenue or curriculum monument approaching the site, and three circular earthworks known as the sloping ditches ochGráinne’s Fort. All three are large ring mounds that may have been built too close to the steep slope and then fallen.

To the south of the Royal Enclosure lies a ring fort called Raith Laoghaire(Laoghaire’s Fort), where the eponymous king is said to have been buried in an upright position. Half a mil south of the Hill of Tara is another hill fort known as Rath Maeve, the fort either the legendary queen Medb who is more usually associated with Connacht or less well known legendary figure of Medb Lethderg, which is associated with Tara.


A church, called Saint Patrick’s is on the east side of the hill. The “Rath of the Synods” was partially destroyed by the cemetery. [2] The modern church was built from 1822 to 1823 on the site of a former. [3] The earliest evidence of a church in Tara is a charter dating from the 1190’s. In 1212, this church was “among the possessions confirmed to the Knights Hospitallers of Saint John Kilmainham of Innocent III”. [3] A 1791 picture shows the church building internally divided into a nave and chancel, with a bell tower of the west. A stump wall marks the site of the old church today, but some of its stone was reused in the present church. The building is now used as a visitor center. [3]

Tara significance

The Hill of Tara is documented in the 11th century text, The Book of Invasions as the seat of the high kings of Ireland from the time of the mythological Fir Bolg and the Tuatha Dé Danann to text composition.However, there is no evidence that the institution high kingship Ireland given authority over the whole island on its owner.

The Hill of Tara has been in use by the people of the Neolithic era, although it is not known if Tara continuously as a sacred and / or a political center from the Neolithic period to the 12th century.

The central part of the site could not have housed a large permanent retinue, which means that instead was used for occasional meetings. There were no large defensive structures. The earliest surviving written records shows that high kings inaugurated there, ” Seanchas Mor ” legal text (written sometime after 600AD) stipulates that the king must drink beer and symbolically marry the goddess Maeve (Medb) to qualify for the high kingship.

Earlier scientific disputes about Tara original meaning increases as the 20th century archaeologists identified before the Iron Age monuments and human built liveable forms from the Neolithic period (about 5000 years ago).One of these forms, the Mound of Hostages, has a short passage aligned with the sunrise on the sun cross quarter days coincides with the old annual Celtic festivals celebrated at the midpoints between the vernal and autumnal equinox ( “Imbolc” honors preparation for planting time, or “pre-spring” on about 4 February) and the summer and winter solstice ( “Samhain” honor harvest or “first winter” on or about 8 november). [4] pile passage is shorter than the long entrances of monuments of Newgrange, which makes it less precise yield adjustments with the sun; Still, Martin Brennan, in blocks of time , according to the daily changes in the position of a 13-foot (4 m) long sunshine is more than sufficient to determine the date.

A theory that may precede the Hill of Tara splendor before Celtic times is the legendary story naming the Hill of Tara as the capital of the Tuatha Dé Danann, pre-Celtic inhabitants of Ireland. When the Celts established a seat in the hill, the hill became the place from which the kings of Mide ruled Ireland. There is much debate among historians as to how far the king’s influence spread; it may have been as low as in the middle of Ireland, or may have been all the northern half. The high kingship of the whole island was only established an effective degree of Máel Sechnaill mac Maele Ruanaid (Malachy I). Irish pseudohistorians of the Middle Ages made it stretch back to prehistoric times. On top of the hill stands a stone pillar that was the Irish Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) on which högkung crowned; legends suggest that the stone had to roar three times the chosen one was a true king (compare with the Scottish Lia Fail). Both the Hill of Tara as a hill and as a capital seems to have political and religious influence, which diminished since St.Patrick time.

During the uprising in 1798, United Irishmen formed a camp on the hill but was attacked and defeated by British troops May 26, 1798, and Lia Fáil was moved to mark the graves of 400 rebels who died on the mountain that day.In 1843, the Irish Member of Parliament Daniel O’Connell hosted a peaceful political demonstration on the Hill of Tara in favor of repeal of the Act of Union which drew over 750,000 people, indicating permanent significance of the Hill of Tara. [5]

During the early 20’s Hill of Tara was vandalized by British Israelists who thought the Irish were part of the lost tribes of Israel and that the litter contained the Ark of the Covenant. [6]

Motorway development

Main article: N3 road (Ireland)


The M3 motorway, which is owned by SIAC Construction and Cintra SA, which opened in June 2010, passes through the Tara-Skryne Valley – as well as the existing N3 road. Protesters argue that since the Tara Discovery Programme started in 1992, there is an appreciation that the Hill of Tara is just the central complex of a wider landscape. The distance between the motorway and the exact location of the Hill is 2.2 km (1.4 mi) – it cut the old N3 at Blundelstown exchange between the Hill of Tara Hill of Skyrne. The existence of this exchange is located in the valley has led to accusations that the further development of an energy generator is planned near Tara. [Clarification needed ] An alternative route about 6 km (3.7 mi) west of the Hill of Tara is said to be a straighter, cheaper and more less destructive alternatives.[7] [8] on Sunday 23 September 2007 over 1,500 people met on the hill of Tara to participate in a human sculpture representing a harp and spell out the words “SAVE TARA Valley” as requiring the rerouting of the highway M3 Tara valley. Actor Stuart Townsend and Jonathan Rhys Meyers attended this event.[9]

The Hill of Tara was included in the World Monuments Fund’s 2008 Watch List of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. [10] It was included in 2009 in the 15 must-see endangered cultural treasures in the world avSmithsonian Institution. [11]

There are currently [ when? ] A letter writing campaign is underway to preserve the Hill of Tara. [12]

annalistic references

  • AI980.4 A great battle between Mael Sechnaill and son Amlaíb and slaughter of foreigners including Ragnall, son of Imar Temuir, a measure required everywhere.


  • Hill of Tara, Lia Fáil and the surrounding landscape
  • Sunset
  • Highcross
  • Church
  • Summit
  • Aerial view

See also

  • Druids
  • old Uppsala
  • Kingship of Tara
  • Stonehenge
  • Tare
  • Tara (plantation)
  • Tara, Ontario


  1. Jump up ^ “Hill of Tara / Team Hair / Cnoc na Teamhrach”
  2. Jump up ^ The Hill of Tara. Rough Guides. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Jump up to: A bc Draft Tara Skryne landscape conservation area. Meath County Council. 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  4. Jump up ^ photo of Samhain sunrise on the Mound of Hostages “Stone Age mound of hostages is also in line with Samhain sun rise.” The sun rises from the same angle of Imbolc.
  5. Jump up ^ Muldoon, Paul (25 May 2007). “Erin go faster.” The New York Times. Retrieved seven September of 2008.
  6. Jump up ^ . Carew, Mairead (30 October 2004) Tara and the ark of the covenant: a search for the Ark of the Covenant from the British Israelites on the Hill of Tara, 1899 -1902. Royal Irish Academy. ISSN 0-9543855-2- 7th
  7. Jump up ^ Eileen Battersby (26 May 2007). “Is nothing sacred?”. The Irish Times.
  8. Jump up ^ Glenn Frankel (22 January 2005). “In Ireland, Commuter vs Kings”. The Washington Post. p. A01. Taken 14 juni2007.
  9. Jump up ^ Paula Geraghty (24 September 2007). “In Ireland, the Human Aerial Art By Tara: People power combines art and politics of protest.” Indymedia Ireland. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
  10. Jump up ^ 2008 World Monuments watch list of 100 most endangered sites in the Wayback Machine (archived June 7, 2007) World Monuments Fund.
  11. Jump up ^ Logue, Patrick (28 February 2009). “Tara threatened, says the Smithsonian.” Irish Times. Retrieved 26 August augusti2009.
  12. Jump up ^ “The Hill of Tara.” Holy places International Foundation.