Royal Sites of Ireland Survey
We would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent survey. We were delighted with the response and happy to share with you the Executive Summary Report and some survey highlights. Our application for the tentative List has been submitted and your input fed into that application. Should we be successful we will be carrying out further consultation in person and through the website so please check back for further opportunities to get involved.
Each province had a major royal inauguration and ceremonial site and all except Cashel were important centres since the Neolithic period. This evoked a sense of ancient power, which symbolised the nobility of a king and his territory.
Uisneach was the ‘omphalos’ or mythical centre of Ireland where the 5 provinces met.
The monuments most frequently found at royal sites, apart from Cashel, are of pre-Christian origin. At Navan, Co. Armagh, Tara, Co. Meath and Knockaulin, Co. Kildare are large-scale ceremonial enclosures, consisting of a bank and internal ditch encircling the hill top. There are also ceremonial pathways, and ring-barrows (late prehistoric burial monuments). Sometimes there are standing stones, which may have been used during the inauguration ritual itself.
These are not the only monuments that once stood at these sites, and archaeological excavations at Navan, Tara and Knockaulin have uncovered evidence for ceremonial timber monuments that have long since disappeared.