Tara is one of Ireland’s most renowned ancient sites. A prehistoric centre of ritual and burial, the site featured in medieval manuscripts as the seat of Ireland’s High King. Known as a royal complex it started in 3500BC with the construction of the passage tomb, the Mound of the Hostages. Bronze Age and Iron Age monuments like Ráith na Rí and the Lia Fáil were added as the complex grew.

Medieval texts describe the elaborate use of these monuments in the coronation of the High Kings. The dramatic feasting, battles and feats of the kings retold in folklore would fuel 19th century nationalism movements, with Tara becoming a symbol of independence and Irish identity.

Select the pages below to explore each sites model, descriptions and associated media.