Lough Gur, County Clare

Lough Gur, County Clare

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Lough Gur is one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites as it has been a dwelling place for over 3,000 years. Located just 21km south east of Limerick the visitor centre allows people to discover and learn about the lives and customs since Pre-Celtic Ireland (over 3,000 years ago).
 
The centre itself is built on the site of one of the original dwellings. The audio visual and panel displays inside educate visitors on geology, botany, zoology and archaeology. There is also extensive information on local folklore and Celtic Festivals.
 
A highlight of the centre is the replica of the Lough Gur shield which is now on display in the National Museum in Dublin. There are also replicas of the Countess of Bath Chalice and Paten.
 
Outside of the visitor centre there are numerous sites to explore. There is a small farmstead which was built back in 900AD.There are also Neolithic houses at Knockadoon, a wedge tomb from the Bronze Age, local Hill forts from the Iron Age period, a Crannog from the Early Christian period and Bouchiers Castle and New Church from the medieval and post medieval periods respectively.
 
Perhaps the highlight of Lough Gur overall is the Stone Circle on site which was built around 2,000 BC. It is comprised of 113 stones and is 150 feet in diameter. The biggest stone is 13 feet high and weighs 40 tonnes. The circle was built so that during the summer solstice the sun would shine directly into the circle.
 
Overall this site provides a microcosm of different ages as so many groups lived in and around the area. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in history.

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