Fourknocks - Passage Tomb
We have shared many get-togethers in Fourknocks over the years and also held special occasions such as Dana's Months Mind - You can read more here.....
Free entry up to dusk every day. A sign at the roadside advises you get the key from Mr. White with his phone number and directions. You will also need to give him a small amount of cash as a deposit, which is returned when you return the key. This is a self-service visitor attraction. The nearest toilets, cafe and shops are at the Seamus Ennis Centre in The Naul. Parking is limited to a maximum of about 5 cars, on the roadside.
There are a couple of small steps, in a wall, up to a pathway and short walk to the mound. In an adjacent field, overgrown with bushes, you pass another two mounds which are not accessible.
As you swing open the heavy metal door crouch low and step through the short passage into another world. Leave the door open and daylight floods the space. Your eyes become accustomed to the low light level in a couple of minutes. There are three small box-like spaces off the main chamber, and lots of fascinating rock art.
Martin notes that...
... the passage was filled by burials during the Stone Age hence closing off the chamber. The Chamber of the “Mound of the Hostages” (on the Hill of Tara) was also filled by burials from the Bronze Age, but its Stone Age function of aligning to the Samhain sun rise is still observable today. The sunrise is most accurate for about a week around Samhain, and interestingly one of the great feasts associated with Tara was the Samhain week long celebration
Although no solar alignments are obvious, perhaps at this monument the connections are stellar.
Martin has noted:
According to Brennan, Fourknocks I is aligned 17° east of North, which just eliminates any of the direct lunar or solar alignments with the passage (but not the chamber). However, during the Stone Age the passage was aligned with the helical rising of the “W” shaped constellation of Cassiopeia.
We have noticed over the years that Samhain energies are sometimes slow to arrive, but we feel they are intense 'on the day'.
This is a time for honouring the ancestors and remembering those who have passed; those that have made the transition between realms, as we all do at some point in our soul's journey.
In Fourknocks we bend low, entering into the darkened chamber, and are aware of this transition from the outer physical 'busy' world into the inner quiet protective space.
Some who are claustrophobic hesitate but there is always the open door if you need to leave and many who have paused feel they received a welcome from the place as well as the people.
Remembering the 'Big Tree' Ancestor in The Naul
Often, before or after a get-together, we join in a tasty meal in the café at the Seamus Ennis centre in The Naul, just down the road from Fourknocks. The low white painted building has a sculpture outside of Seamus sitting on a wall. A lovely honouring of the man. Here we remember the tree that sheltered him and welcome the new one.
In early November 2017 -
"hundreds gathered in the village as the tree was felled and locals spoke of the memory's growing up in Naul and the joys of playing in and around tree which was rooted firmly in the hearts of the local community. " The Independent - 4 November 2017.
"The 'Big Tree' outside the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre that allowed the statue of Seamus Ennis to sit in the shade of its mighty branches had died and the difficult decision was taken to cut the tree down in the interests of public safety. The majestic Spanish Chestnut tree had stood on this spot in the centre of the village since the late 19th century but is sadly no more.
The tree which presided over Naul village for well over a hundred years had not produced any foliage over the last two summers. Fingal County Council who sanctioned specialist tree surgeons to run numerous tests and treatments, where unable to reverse the tree's decline. So the decision was taken in order of public safety to fell the dead Spanish Chestnut tree. "