Navan Fort is a state care national monument, located 2 miles from the Cathedral City of Armagh. This is one of Ireland’s most important ancient monuments and according to ancient mythology, was one of the great royal sites of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland and the capital of the Red Branch of the Ulaidh (the famous warriors who gave their name to the province of Ulster). It is also named Emain Macha which translates to mean ‘Macha’s Twins’ named after the children of the goddess Macha who reputedly founded Navan Fort somewhere around the sixth century BC. The legendary King Conchobar mac Nessa also used this site as his court. Archaeological excavations have revealed that the construction of the 40 metre mound (that can be seen in the photo) dates to 95 BC and underneath an enormous roundhouse-like structure was built around a giant central oak. Its entrance oddly faced west (prehistoric houses invariably faced east, towards the sunrise). The floor of the building was covered with stones arranged in radial segments, and the whole edifice was deliberately burnt down before being covered in a mound of earth and turf. Archaeological evidence for similar repeated building and burning have also been found at Tara in County Meath and Dún Ailinne in county Kildare. There is also evidence of settlement at this location between 4000 – 2500 b.c and one of the  the most unusual discoveries was the skull of a Barbary Macaque which suggests an international connection to Europe and Africa by the ruling families who governed here.

Curious Ireland images make interesting wall art, meaningful wedding presents or simply a thoughtful gift for someone who is living far away…….If you prefer COLOUR CLICK HERE or B&W CLICK HERE. (beautifully printed & packaged by the Irish Photo Archive)

If you are planning to explore this area CLICK HERE for the best available deals for nearby hotels, hostels, B&B’s and castles.