Experience magical and scenic sacred places, from Stone Age, Neolithic, Celtic, Druid, to early Christian sites: Stone Circles, Passage Tombs Dolmens, Rock-art, and High Crosses, Holy Wells, Oghams, Sheela-na-gigs, Round Towers,etc.

Guided trips for individuals or groups from Co. Kilkenny. accommodation information available. Email:


Baunfree, Co Kilkenny

Our journeys to these prehistoric monuments will give you plenty of time to study and wonder about their purpose. Usually found in beautiful upland areas, they each project their own powerful, magical energy, in 'vapours drifting and frothing' (Yeats).

".. leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories and photographs ".

Castledermot High Cross

STONE CIRCLES, Cairns and Passage Tombs: ceremonial, community spaces, often with an archaeo-astronomical function.
Local stone circles are visited. A nearby passage tomb from 3000 BC has rock-art and its passage aligned to the setting, winter-solstice sun.
Further afield, on Slieve na Calliagh (Hill of the Witch) we can watch the equinox sunrise slowly move across an iconographic sunwheel and other astronomical motifs - linking that ancient art with astronomy. (Video available).
In the mountains of Co. Waterford, a Bronze Age settlement and ritual landscape makes for an interesting day 'as we tread in the footsteps of those ancient ones' among stone circles, alignments, barrows, field and hut sites, fulachta fiad, enclosures, cairns and standing stones. At sunset we may witness the calendar landscape read from the Knockmealdown and Galtymore mountain horizon.


STANDING STONES: Megalithic markers or energised 'healing stones' - sometimes aligned in stone rows or to other pagan sites. The mystic Druids inscribed such stones with Ogham script; there are 13 in Co. Kilkenny. The first christians inscribed these monoliths with crosses to proclaim the new faith; and by the 8/9th century they had been transformed into stone, celtic HIGH CROSSES sculpted in the monastic settlements throughout S.E. Ireland. Covered in celtic designs and, later, scriptural scenes, they are among the finest examples of Celtic-Christian art.

A unique, indigenous irish architectural feature is seen in the Round Towers, 'fingers of stone' , 100 ft or more, standing tall in the landscape.

DOLMENS or Portal Tombs - from Breton for 'stone table'; often known locally as Druid's Altars or Giant's Graves. We visit Leac an Scail, 'stone of the hero' - an awe-inspiring, neolithic sculpture. Here on a good day we may enjoy a picnic.

SHEELA-NA-GIGS. Protective talismans. Female, stone figures depicting the old woman/hag; often found now on castle and church walls. Breasts are pendulous, ribs pronounced and vulva exhibited and sometimes rubbed smooth. Maybe medieval, but most likely resonant of pagan, goddess and fertility rites. In folklore genital display is a powerful charm against, or an antidote to, the 'evil eye'.

The sile on the Fethard town wall in Co. Tipperary overlooks the river bridge; she has a chevron on her cheek. Another below a nearby castle has a torque (moon?) or horseshoe in one hand and a serpent(?) in the other, reminiscent of the male, Celtic, god, Cernunnos. Some have catlike whiskers.

Rock Art

Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co Meath.

Antiquarians , archaeologists, architects and new agers have their own understanding of ancient sites; we provide such relevant background information, hoping that with this you will better enjoy and appreciate these places.

Inistioge is 15 miles from Kilkenny, 75 from Dublin, 40 from Rosslare Harbour.
Here and in neighboring Thomastown & Kilkenny there are excellent restaurants, pubs and traditional music sessions.

Maps and Guidebooks.

The Discovery series of maps show many of the archaeological & historic sites.

The old 'Shell Guide to Ireland' (2nd edition) has extensive references and directions to most places of ancient and historic interest.

Southern Ireland is free of Foot and Mouth.

The government/tourist upate on the situation -

Some tours are arranged to coincide with celtic festivals:- solstices, equinoxes, quarter days and astronomical alignments.
Summer Solstice, june 21. Sunrise at Stone Circle. High Crosses. Dolmen.

Autumn Equinox, sept 21. Passage Tomb Sunrise. Rock Art. Stone Circles.

[Tours not operating from Nov 2001 to March 2002.]

Spring Equinox. March 21.

Contact us to make personal arrangements for dates/sites.

COST: Daily IR£30pp. 1/2 day IR20 [single supplement].

Arrangements can be made for B & B etc. accommodation (Country House, farm, Self-Catering, single occupancy etc.)

For comfort it is a good idea to have walking shoes or boots & rain gear.



The guide - Antony Lorraine M.A. (Stanford) is a member of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and the Graiguenamanagh Historical Society; he has extensive knowledge of the sites in the south-east and throughout Ireland.

Also available through Ancient Ireland Tours:

Videotapes - 'Loughcrew Passage Grave Equinox' (15 min.) 'High Crosses of S.E. Ireland.' (26 m.) Photographs of ancient monuments in Ireland. Stone Rubbings of graveyard headstones. (Specific family headstones/locations recorded by request.).

Tel (353) 086 8348055

Feedback: "Our time in the Berryhill house was a highlight of our trip to Ireland.  George and Belinda, in addition to being wonderful hosts, arranged for their neighbor, Antony, to take us on an (inexpensive) guided tour of historical and archaeological sites in the area -- we saw some of the most amazing ruins tucked away on the side of the road that would be fully impossible to find without local knowledge, and received a wonderful narrative about the background and historical significance of each. Don't miss the opportunity for this experience! Thank all of you! Charlie and Junko P. Boulder, Colorado, USA."

"we went to the three friars and were surrounded by curious cows, then on to the Harristown Dolmen, Ahenny high crosses etc. Our outing with you was one of the highlights of our trip. .. Your introduction to ancient Ireland started us on an engaging "tour of old rocks", as Bess puts it. We saw Ogham stones, other standing
stones, old fortified farmhouses, stone circles. At the Hill of Tara we were introduced to dowsing (divining)
and became fairly keen, even getting our own rods and wandering around likely looking places finding energy lines, whatever they are. We wonder where to start in Australia - there are no stones or ancient churches to give us a clue! However, there does appear to be some very active energy in the lounge room!! V. Australia.

'Don't change the site; let the site change you.'


Below is a list of other related and interesting sites:

Map of Irish Stone Circles and Rows. Burnham and Burl.
Co Meath sites:
Dolmens, Carnac, France.

Mythical Ireland.

Irish Archaeology Homepage

Everything Celtic on the Web.

Goddess Lunar Calendar.

Jerpoint Abbey and Kells Priory

Archaeology on the Web.;list;page=3


Encyclopedia of the Celts

Local, country house accomodation.

Other accomodation

South East Ireland Tourism

Kilkenny Information -

Sligo & Mayo:

Ireland info.



Last updated Oct 9, 2001.


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