Long, long ago as St. Patrick was doing his work in Ireland, he came upon a witch. Now, the witch was cocky (as witches often are), and she made a wager with St. Patrick. “I bet I can jump from hill to hill without spilling any of the stones in my apron,” she said. “And if I do, you have to leave this land.” St. Patrick looked at the witch and her full apron of white stones, and he said, “Yes, that’s a very big challenge. But if you drop even one stone as you hop from hill to hill, you must leave this land, and I get to stay.”
So, the witch gathered up her heavy apron and began to hop from hill to hill… and the stones began to fall out of her apron. She didn’t even notice the pile of stones she left on top of the first hill… and she thought her apron felt a little lighter on the second hill… but she kept hopping until she got to the fourth and last hill. She looked down and saw that there were just three stones left in her apron. And St. Patrick smiled, for he knew the witch had to leave Ireland forever.
At least that’s the story that generations of Irish children heard about the gleaming white stones on top of each hill near Oldcastle. But in the 1800’s a local teacher described and catalogued the prehistoric passage tombs and excavation of the Loughcrew Cairns began. As it turns out, the mounded tomb site significantly predates St. Patrick and the witch. In fact, it dates back to 3000 BC and is older than the pyramids in Egypt.
To read more about the Loughcrew Megalithic Cairns, check out my home blog:
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