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Sacred Hill of the Fairies

Knocknashee, Ox Mountains, County Sligo. Ireland. 

Knocknashee ‘Hill of the Fairies’ is one of Ireland’s largest Bronze Age fortified hilltop forts stretching 700×320 meters across this table-top mountain plateau. Being one of Ireland’s seven most sacred hills ‘Knocknashee’ is a sacred site for Fairies & for those of us who worship or believe in them. Its name comes from the Irish words “knock” (cnoc) meaning “hill” and “shee” (Sidhe) meaning “fairy”. If there is anywhere in Ireland to possibly sight fairies, then this is your best location to explore.

It consists of 2 large stone cairns (tombs) which date back 5000 years & the remains of up to 60 circular stone houses dating back 3000 years old (zoom into this photo to see all these circular house remains) There is also a large stone wall surrounding the entire enclosure. It is rumoured that some people lived on top of this hill until relatively lately. The last of their houses were demolished on the ‘Night of the Big Wind’ of 1839, when a storm with wind speeds of around 115 mph ruined most of Ireland & literally blew those modern dwellings clean off this plateau top 😲

Can you just imagine how it was possibly living inside one of these small stone huts on top of this mountain next to these tombs thousands of years ago! My brain wanders just trying to even understand it all? Some folk may easily laugh at the idea of Fairies & Spirits etc but one thing for sure….. Our ancestors were no fools & were very intelligent people. You can clearly see this by the stunning monuments they left behind that still have us gazing in awe today. They certainly didn’t go through this type of effort in construction, worship & ritual for thousands of years ‘simply on a whim’. There are more to these sacred areas that meets the eye & I hope that someday soon the answers will be revealed.

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“Until This Storm Has Passed” by Irish Photographer Gareth Wray

The Storm Has Passed. Irish photography
“Until This Storm Has Passed” by Gareth Wray

Click on the image to zoom in:

Many parts of Ireland are surprisingly sparsely populated. Although once you arrive on this little peninsula in west Donegal, all becomes as evident as the nose on your face. It isn’t unusual to find a single cottage surrounded by 10 acres of land or more & there are more sheep on these slopes than there are inhabitants. I can’t help but envy & wish health to whoever lives in this stunning little cottage, happily & safely away from it all until this storm has passed…..

At first glimpse this photo may appear peaceful. Although if you can gauge from those nearing clouds in the distance, this was not quite the case. During the tail end of a recent storm that struck our shores, I remember fighting winds to stand in one spot long enough to capture this scene! Overhead clouds were blowing across the sky so fast allowing patches of stunning light to break through momentarily, followed by deep shadows that blanketed the entire landscape.

Cold & continually wiping rain off my lens every few seconds, I waited in hope for another opening to allow some light through to illuminate this little cottage. Not a moment too soon! The light vibrantly shone down & I pressed the shutter button one last time. Within seconds the light dwindled & heavy showers pelted down on me! I ran back to my car like a soaked squirrel with a nut! 😂 I loved every moment 🥰

Leave your comments below. More of Gareth’s wonderful & inspiring work can be found on his website at: