Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Irish Legends and Folklore


Last weekend we had beautiful weather and I spent a couple of days in North Tipperary.While driving around I came across a tomb which dates back at least 2000 years BC.It is known as Leaba (bed)Duirmuid (Dermot)& Ghrainne (Grace)star crossed lovers of Gaelic Mythology.There are various sites giving the story online, all basically the same, I have used Squidoo and the drawing is from that site,the armies in the background were pursuing the lovers across the country and I think that is how there are various sites related to the lovers.
Did they rest here and hide from their pursuers?

This is not a tourist site and you may not find it on any map, I saw the sign post and knew of the legend so followed the directions. It is not a place for designer footwear as you have to trek about 400 metres up a boggy hillside.
If anyone is touring around Ireland and comes across these blue signs they are worth following if you have time as they usually lead to interesting sites such as this.

Once we got to the site there was no further signage just this huge marker stone at the side of a lonely road,the grave is visible from the road but unless you have some idea what it is you may not stop!

The wedge tomb set into the hillside.If it was used as a hiding place they had a clear view of the surrounding countryside but then the area may have been covered in dense forest that long ago.

The tomb is surrounded by small standing stones.The locals have always been aware of its existence and the story attached to it which was probably handed down by word of mouth through the generations.

The other side of the tomb, the surrounding hill sides can be seen in the background

This is one of the stones within the circle and the water collected in the top of the stone is supposed to be a cure for warts!We were not sure if it was to be used daily or just once. These old cures usually entail walking around the stones a requisite number of times etc.
I enjoyed finding this part of our mythical heritage as we all learned these stories going to school.

8 comments:

Kellee said...

Ohh I love a good historical romance, what an amazing place to visit. Our history in New Zealand is so new compared to Ireland and Britain.

Jason said...

Well that beats going to the chemist for some cream.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

I love how steeped in history myth and faery Ireland is! Such a magical place. I'll never forget being at Newgrange gave me goosebumps. Older than the pyramids in Egypt!

W. Latane Barton said...

That was fascinating, Peggy. I remember seeing some old tombs when my daughter and I were in Ireland. You live in a country filled with wonderful history.

OneStonedCrow said...

Thanks for this interesting story Peggy - some of my ancestors are supposed to have originated in Ireland and my surname is almost the same as a town/village? near Waterford - I saw it on a map only once but never again ... and no amount of google searching brings the town up ...

Bridget said...

Great post, lovely pics. I must look up this place when I return home to Tipp next time.

Peggy said...

Kellee,Lots of romance and fairy spells in our folklore!

Jason, a bit more energetic climbing a hill to get a cure for your warts!

Mrs Bok,I did'nt know you had actually been over here?!Newgrange is fascinating, there are sites all over the country aligned to the sun & moon at the Spring and winter solstices.

Latane,we are steeped in mythology & folklore much of it now being forgotten as we are overtaken by the computer age.

OneStonedCrow, you don't say the name of the village and I don't know your surname!We have lots of small villages which don't appear on our maps not to mind Google!

Bridget, if you are up around Nth Tipp the signpost is in Rear Cross about 20 miles from Thurles on the Limerick border.

Quail said...

I just love prehistoric monuments!