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Written in the Landscape - Stones in Irish Folk Tradition

National Folklore Collection, UCD

  • Co. Dublin – South Dublin

The surrounding world has always acted as a source of inspiration for the folk imagination. This can apply to natural features, such as lakes, mountains and the sea, but can also apply to man-made structures, ancient and contemporary alike. While the origin and use of many ancient monuments may be unclear to us, these structures retain something of an air of importance, and the folk imagination attempts to fill these gaps in our knowledge. Stone structures are just one example of a feature in our landscape that has attracted many aspects of folklore, from folk practice and belief to legends and songs. Many of these aspects are aetiological in nature, meaning they explain the origins of significant stones. Standing stones and other stone structures like cromlechs, dolmens and stone circles, as well as other smaller stone structures, appear in the vast collection of local lore gathered by the Irish Folklore Commission and its successors from 1935, held today in the National Folklore Collection, UCD.

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Written in the Landscape - Stones in Irish Folk Tradition

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