Emain Macha – Navan Fort (Armagh – Northern Ireland)

One of my favourite places in Northern Ireland is for sure Emain Macha, or Navan Fort if we want to use the actual english name. It’s a very ancient site situated some kilometre from Armagh, city that I love: half of Stevie’s family lives there and it’s always a pleasure to go to visit.

As you already probably understood from this blog, I’m a very inquiring person when it’s about places I visit, of which I like to discover story, monuments, legends and hidden corners. So, thanks also to Jp, Stevie’s dad, that last summer with great patience organized a tour around, I found this beautiful place.

Emain Macha is a national monument site for Northern Ireland. It’s a ceremonial or burial site (don’t be deceived from the english name “fort”, since the place was really never a military one) dated, pursuant to dendrochronology, at 95 b.C.

The site is on a low hill and it’s composed by two elements, enclosed in a 250 mt ca diameter corral:

navan-fort
Image: http://www.moviemakersguide.com/

The first one, dated at 95 b.C., it’s a mound measuring about 40 mt. diameter and 6 mt. height, surrounded by a bank and a ditch. Inside the mound, there’s a construction, which entrance faces west, composed by four concentric rings made of wood posts built around a oak trunk. The structure was burnt before being covered in earth. Artifacts found under the mound and in the ditch prove the settlement of the site from Neolithic and then in the Bronze and Iron Age.

The second one, which in the photo is on the left, is a ring shaped element; it cannot be dated. Under it, there was a wooden structure with the shape of an eight.

Here there is a model of what’s under the mound:

3
Image: http://www.miotas.org/

In Emain Macha there’s also an interactive museum, Navan Centre, that explains the history of the place and has the peculiarity of being a reconstruction of the original structure:

IMG_4527lContinues in the next article: Emain Macha – Navan Fort: between history and legend 😉

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