Ireland’s Ancient East History – Top 5 Historic Sites

Ireland is renowned for its beautiful countryside, its kind people and its rich history. So, it should come as no surprise that the Emerald Isle is full to the brim of significant historic sites.

Ireland’s ancient east history is fascinating, magical and everything in between, and for those reasons and more, your vacation to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to these top 5 historic sites.

Newgrange, County Meath

Ireland's ancient east history

This Neolithic monument located in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, is one of the most impressive man-made wonders on our small island.

It is thought that Newgrange was constructed about 5,200 years ago. To put that into context, that makes Newgrange older than the Great Pyramids of Giza! This large mound was built by a farming community that dwelled on the lands of the Boyne Valley.

It’s ringed by nearly 100 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with megalithic art.

Rock of Cashel, Country Tipperary

Ireland's ancient east history

The Rock of Cashel is also known as ‘Cashel of the Kings’. This historic site can be found in county Tipperary and we can confirm that it’s not actually a rock!

The Rock of Cashel was an ancient royal site and the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years before the Norman invasion.

According to legend, two very well-known individuals from Ireland’s ancient history are associated with this beautiful spot. The first being St. Patrick, who is said to have arrived in Cashel in 432 AD where he baptized King Aengus. The second being Brian Boru who was crowned High King there in 1002.

Blarney stone and Blarney castle, Country Cork 

Ireland's ancient east history

Just northwest of Country Cork you’ll find Blarney Castle and the Blarney stone – both date back to 1446.

The Blarney castle was once a medieval stronghold on the River Martin. Forts were built on the same spot, but what is currently left standing dates to the McCarthy dynasty, King of Desmond.

The Blarney stone is built into the walls of the Blarney castle. Legend has it that if you kiss the Blarney stone, you’ll have the ‘gift of the gab’ – no wonder tourists flock from all over the world to kiss it!

Giant’s causeway, County Antrim

Ireland's ancient east history

According to ancient legend, the Giant’s Causeway was created by the Irish warrior giant – Finn mac Cumhaill. He created it in order to avoid getting his feet wet whilst he travelled between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

When visiting the Giant’s Causeway, you can step and hop across your own unique route and take in the unusual rock formations.

Whilst you’re there, check out the wild North Atlantic or make your way up the Sheperd’s Steps for a bird’s-eye view of the rocky coastline.

Kilmainham Gaol, County Dublin

Ireland's ancient east history

Kilmainham Gaol, located in Dublin, has been at the centre of Ireland’s ancient east history since the foundation was laid in 1796.

Kilmainham imprisoned many of the Irish leaders throughout the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). This fascinating building is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and unapologetically presents the prison conditions as they were.

Visitor’s can take a guided tour and learn about anything from the fascinating love story of Joseph Plunkett (who married his wife just hours before his execution), to some unique insights into the lives and deaths of Ireland’s leaders.


Ireland’s ancient east history is truly fascinating! Would you like to visit one of these top 5 historic sites? Contact one of our dedicated team who are happy to help you plan an unforgettable vacation in Ireland.