"The best of Man is his Ruins..."  

Nuadú, god of War

field guide


houses for the dead:





stone circles

(rock art)


ogam-stones &

& cross-slabs


& the phallic continuum

satan in the groin

the earth-mother's

east of brittany:
megaliths of western and southern france





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"Mouth-puller" from Drakestown, county Meath









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About www.IrishMegaliths.org.uk

Sess Kilgreen, county Tyrone


www.IrishMegaliths.org.uk is a domain originally part of the Dissident Editions website (www.beyond-the-pale.uk/), and is greatly expanded from Anthony Weir's EARLY IRELAND - A FIELD GUIDE, published in 1980 and very soon out of print.

The core of this site is the alphabetical county-by-county gazetteer of Irish megaliths from that book, enveloped by pages which put the types of monument into context. A useful and compact introduction to some of the thousands of fine stone monuments in Ireland, the continuing expansion of the gazetteer owes much to the indefatigable researches of Tom FourWinds (www.megalithomania.com) whose photographs contribute greatly to the website, and of the CD-ROM which was developed and expanded from it. It has been a source of inspiration and information for other irish megalithic websites.

Clontygora Court-tomb, county Armagh

The 1980s were a time of almost complete reappraisal of Irish field monuments from the Court-tombs of the fourth millennium BCE to the carved Scripture Crosses of the Early Romanesque. During this period too the beautiful and highly-accurate new 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey maps replaced the old inaccurate half-inch maps, and roads in the Republic changed their designations from T (Trunk) and L (Link) to N (National) and R (Regional), as well as their numbers. Almost all prehistoric monuments are now marked on the Southern Irish maps.

The Field Guide represented over 10 years of travelling all over Ireland (often with inadequate maps), back and forth to get decent pictures with second-hand cameras and to visit sites whose locations and descriptions were buried in old archæological journals. So, when the poetic-philosophical Dissident Editions website was set up, expansion to use all this material was inevitable.

My first archæological/art-historical pages were, however, not from the Field Guide, but from researches into Irish sweathouses and the curious and grotesque 'exhibitionist' figures known as Sheela-na-gigs. Investigations into the origins and history of the latter were published by Batsford (later Routledge) in London, under the unfortunate title of IMAGES OF LUST, which has never been out of print since its publication in 1985.

Further researches into exhibitionist figures after publication produced the material now presented on the SATAN IN THE GROIN website. The results of investigations into the puzzle of Irish sweathouses are published herein on this website.

Soon it was realised that the library of colour-transparencies made during research for the Field Guide could form the nucleus of a new on-line Field Guide, updated with new map-references and information - and new photographs where necessary.

It is unusual for an amateur enthusiast webmaster to include photographs which are not his own. But since this site purports to be a comprehensive field guide, I am very happy to borrow good photos from other sites. I am now too old to be charging back and forth up and down and across the island, and I still add the occasional photograph from another website.

Until recently, most Irish photo-archæological sites concentrated on the passage-tombs of counties Meath and Sligo, and gave little idea of the variety of Irish field monuments all over the island, nor of their sculptural beauty and the beauty of their locations.

There are  more photos of the author on the CD ROM!.

At least half the pleasure of discovering Ireland's megaliths is in leaving the banalised tourist routes for a quieter, more hidden Ireland away from the coasts and the famous passage-tombs & monastic cites. Even around brash Dublin - and in the centre of Belfast - fine megaliths are to be found. Indeed, a weekend might not be long enough in which to see the megaliths just in the southern half of county Dublin.

The website also includes an introduction to some of the thousands of megaliths to be found in France to the east, north and south of well-trodden Brittany. These French pages are the by-product of travel for field-research into the origins of the Irish Sheela-na-gigs on Romanesque churches, pursued in the late nineteen-seventies and early eighties. They will expand with continuing visits to La France Profonde, so much less advertised and so much more rewarding than Ireland.

This website owes much to early encouragement and advice from Andy Burnham (http://www.megalithic.co.uk) and from Bob Trubshaw (http://www.hoap.co.uk).

I am deeply indebted to Tom FourWinds (http://www.megalithomania.com) for many photos, much enthusiastic support, and good times visiting new sites and revisiting sites I last saw 25 years ago or more. Ken Williams (http://www.shadowsandstone.com) has also been generously supportive.


also including French Megaliths

18, rue de Liffernet
82160 CAYLUS
Wooden Lodge
19 Main Street
Northern Ireland
BT30 8PA


Anthony Weir is co-author of Images of Lust:
sexual carvings in medieval churches
(1986, 1994, 1999).
He has also published articles in Archæology Ireland,
The County Louth Archæological Journal, Irish Midland Studies, Mercian Mysteries
, On the Edge, and The Ley Hunter. He was a contributor to the second edition of The Shell Guide to Ireland.

Before publishing his Field Guide he published poetry and translations with Blackstaff Press, Belfast, and also wrote occasionally for Fortnight political magazine, and the Newsletter of Survival International.
In 1994 he founded Dissident Editions
which is now an entirely electronic publisher.


Metamorphoto by Anthony Weir

IrishMegaliths.org.uk is a member of
The Stone Circle Web Ring


Tourism and 'Heritage' industries are the latest desecrators...

...Are they the last ?


Gazetteer Map Page