travel planning?

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travel planning?

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jan 19, 2009, 11:00 am

Greetings -

It's beginning to look as if I'll be traveling to Ireland next October. What books would folk recommend for investigating antiquities? I just ordered Ancient Ireland: An Explorer's Guide by Robert Emmet Meagher and The Traveller's Guide to Sacred Ireland: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ireland, Her Legends, Folklore and People by Cary Meehan.

I'd welcome other suggestions as well.

Redigeret: jun 16, 2009, 7:23 pm

i had a quick dig through some of my history-type books and here's what i found.

Pagan Celtic Ireland by Barry Raftery and PreChristian Ireland by Peter Harbison. Both of these are pretty good All rounders. The first has a lot of information about sites like Tara, the second is more varied. It was the first text i read which mentioned the handfull of roman trading posts that have been discovered here.
I know your probably looking for a guide, but these books discuss sites that are rarely seen by tourists.
The archeoligist Michael j O' Kelly, the guy who excavated Newgrange wrote a lot of books which are facinating.
if i was you i'd plan my trip using the net rather than a tour book, Here' a list of some of the best ancient sites...
Hill of Tara (a must see)
Ceide fields,
Boyne valley,
Navan fort (it's Emain macha in the Ulster cycle),
lough Gur in Limerick is the earliest known settlement in the country.
Skellig michael,

...Christ i could go on all day like this.
Make sure and check out the museums in Dublin, in one day you can see the ardagh chalise, tara broach, the book of kells and get a good overview of the whole country.
I'm slightly biased, but kilkenny city is pretty cool, it's a medievel city and was the home of Dame Alice kyteler, the first woman to be tried by the catholic church for witchcraft in 1324 and the philosopher bishop Berkley. Waterford City was a viking settlement and is near and worth a look too

sorry, i blathered on a bit there. the best advice i could give you is not to limit yourself. There has been people living on the island for 9,000 years, the celtic period is great but so was the monestic period, the Norman period ect. Hope you enjoy your visit, if there's anything else i can help with, drop me a note
all the best

jun 16, 2009, 8:08 pm

Ooh, how lucky, I love Ireland! In addition to Dublin and Kilkenny, I also suggest that you go to the west coast - Galway and the Aran Islands are places that I recommend.

There is a great bookstore in Galway that will mail you books, they have this cool service where you can tell them what you are interested in and what your budget is and they will put together a box of books for you. The website is

Hope you have a wonderful trip and I'm also happy to answer questions and give advice from my experiences there.

Redigeret: jun 17, 2009, 2:56 pm

yeah, i'd second the recomendation for Galway. it's probably the most unique city in the country. I Read Rain on the Wind by Walter Macken before i first went there. it was great seeing all his old haunts.

#2 sorry to tell you, but the old Kenny's book shop closed. They have relocated out to one of the old industrial estates though, it's still great but not the same.

jun 17, 2009, 3:13 pm

#4 I knew that they had moved, I didn't realize it was out of town, that is too bad.

jun 18, 2009, 10:59 am

ahh well it's not far out; half hour walk from the city centre. they have a much bigger space. the rare books room is fantastic

Redigeret: jul 9, 2009, 1:41 am

Three works pop to mind. The first two are pamphlets, very interesting, which I picked up in Ireland. The third is a book that has some doubtful conclusions but points the way to some very interesting and wonderful sites in Ireland.

Recognising Irish Antiquities

Navan Fort: The Ancient Capital of Ulster

Mythic Ireland

Have a wonderful time!

PS: I'm surprised I didn't put the author name on that last one. (I _think_ the others are uncredited and I'm too lazy to check, but they are in my library so you can peek.) It's Michael Dames.

jun 22, 2009, 11:57 am

Thanks for all the responses. There seem to be several more books I need to order, as well as some Ordnance Survey maps.

I know there are far more things to see than could ever be packed into one trip. We'll be mostly looking into things that were already around in the 6th - 7th centuries (it's partly a book-research trip) and mostly staying with a friend in Co. Offaly. (And I'm determined to go to Kildare!)

I think Kenny's were the dealers from which I got my copy of Máire MacNeill's The Festival of Lughnasa

jul 9, 2009, 1:43 am

No matter where you go in Ireland there is something wonderful. And the smallest standing stone is awesome. Enjoy!