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| Lia Fail |
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|Description ||The Stone of Destiny at Tara|
|This should have been subtitled: THE STONE OF DESTINY, TARA.
To quote from the official leaflet - "The Hill of Tara, Tara, Co.Meath" published by 'The Office of Public Works' -
"Also enclosed by the Royal Enclosure are the Royal Seat (Forradh) and Cormac's House (Teach Cormaic). The Royal Seat is a ringfort and Cormac's House a barrow, so called because of the mound inside the circular bank. Standing in Cormac's House is the Stone of Destiny (Lia Fail) said to be the inauguration stone of the Kings of Tara."
To the top right of this picture is the Mound of the Hostages:
"The Mound of the Hostages (Dumha na nGiall) is a Stone Age passage-tomb. It was also used many centuries later in the Bronze Age when people of wealth and importance were buried in it. The tomb stands inside a large, circular enclosure called the Royal Enclosure (Rath na Riogh) which is a Hill Fort. This is a type of fortification typical of the Iron Age and therefore a much later structure than the Mound of the Hostages. It is defined by a bank with a ditch inside it."
(Sorry about the quality of the photo, but I had to chop off the right hand side because my previous camera developed a fault and let the light in! It couldn't have happened at a worse time, as I haven't been back there since 2001.) Just above half way up the stone is a small incised cross. As Christianity spread. superstitious new believers were always trying to 'Christianise' these "wicked" pagan idols - especially blatantly erotic ones like this! (This one was obviously a focus for fertility rites, hence my vote on 'What were standing stones for?' recently. Different shaped standing stones may have had other uses.)
I had read somewhere that the Stone of Destiny once stood on top of the Mound of the Hostages. I also read that one was found on top of Newgrange when it was first excavated.|
| I don't blame anyone for the very low vote for this pic! The camera leaked light on this trip and ruined all my precious photos. (Photo was also cropped a lot on the right, so the stone was never centred originally.) I prefer the natural earth surround to the stone, rather than the parquet effect in Ken William's newer photos!|
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