The Summer Drought In Ireland Has Caused 66 Ancient Monuments To Have Emerged, Including A Barrow Cemetery

The drought in Ireland has caused ancient monuments like prehistoric barrow cemeteries and henges to have emerged again after thousands of years.

The summer drought in Ireland has caused 66 ancient monuments to have emerged.
Isabelle OHara / Shutterstock

The drought in Ireland has caused ancient monuments like prehistoric barrow cemeteries and henges to have emerged again after thousands of years.

While the severe drought over the summer in Ireland certainly created many challenges, according to the National Monuments Service (NMS) it also caused 66 ancient monuments to have emerged and been reported over the months of July and August.

As The Irish Times reports, many of the new sightings have to do with “features identified through crop-marks or scorch-marks which had become visible on account of the dry weather.”

One of these spectacular new discoveries in Ireland was located close to Newgrange, which is part of the Brú na Boinne Unesco World Heritage Site in County Meath, and was found to be a prehistoric henge, which are standing stones that would have been put in place during the Neolithic era. Remarkably, this was found by a drone that was operated by Anthony Murphy and was such big news that it traveled around the world immediately.

Another astonishing discovery over the summer in Ireland was a prehistoric barrow cemetery that is located in County Louth, which is close to Redcow. This barrow cemetery was stumbled upon by Matthew Kelly, who had been hunting for an ancient site which is believed to be very similar to Stonehenge.

Along with this chance discovery, Kelly also used a drone that was able to detect two ringfort enclosures that are estimated to date from between 2200 BC to 1000 AD. Of these enclosures, the NMS note that they “were not previously known.”

Discussing the barrow cemetery that was discovered over the summer near Redcow in Ireland, the NMS explained that when it was first constructed, this cemetery most likely held eight separate monuments within its confines.

“These features probably represent a prehistoric barrow cemetery comprising up eight individual monuments with two of the eight features being classed as enclosures which might either represent features contemporary with the barrow cemetery or later settlement activity.”

The NMS further noted that “the two newly identified ringforts referred to NMS by Mr Kelly in Glebe and Lisdoo are likely to date to the period 500-1000AD.”

As the summer drought in Ireland has caused so many different people to have reported discoveries of ancient monuments, the National Monuments Service has said that with new reports still continuing to come in, the number that they have given of 66 ancient monuments coming to light again should certainly not be construed as any kind of final figure.

“The reports are still being received, so this (66) should not be taken as a final figure for monuments newly reported in 2018.”

With the drought in Ireland helping to bring back so many ancient monuments, the henge that Anthony Murphy discovered is reported to be featured on an upcoming episode of Hidden Britain by Drone on Channel 4 on Sunday, September 9.