Hill of Tara Co. Meath, Ireland, from 3400 BCE


Map Code: Ax02102

The summit of the Hill of Tara is ringed by oval Iron Age earthworks, known as the Fort of the Kings. Within the enclosure, the oldest construction is the Mound of the Hostages, a Neolithic passage-tomb dated to c. 3400 BCE. At some point, the portal stone of the tomb was removed and then erected to create the Lia Fáil, or Stone of Destiny, which would serve as a place of coronation for the High Kings of Ireland. It is set in the middle of a barrow surrounded by a double-ditch known as the Seat of the Kings, set alongside an inner ring fort, the House of Cormac. To the north of the main enclosure is a further ring fort, the Rath of the Synods, while to the south the Rath of Laoghaire is where the king of that name is reputed to have been buried, standing upright.

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