Roaring Stone of Destiny – ‘maker of kings’ on Hill of Tara

Lia Fail Stone of Destiny

The roaring Stone of Destiny on the Hill of Tara was used to select the king of Ireland…you can still go there today to see if you’re the chosen one. Be careful though as the area was also thought to be the entrance to the other world…and you never know what might happen if you get lost down there.

Lia Fail Stone of Destiny that roared for the chosen king

An ancient seat of power, 142 kings and a ‘stone of destiny’…welcome to the historic epicentre of royal life in Ireland. These striking ridges of once dominant ring forts hold much more than just incredible views of Ireland’s countryside. Throughout history the Hill of Tara has been an important site of worship, a coveted seat of power, and filled with the myths and legends that can be found around Ireland’s Ancient East.

Among the many tales that surround the Hill of Tara, or Teamhair na Rí (hill of the kings), was the belief that it was the entrance to the otherworld, as well as a sacred place of dwelling for the gods. But that’s just the start of the stories that rise up around here…

Ogham, the mysterious language of the trees The Origins of the Ogham alphabet are still a mystery for many historians, but it is primarily thought to be an early form of the Irish written Language. Bealtaine Fire

Stone of Destiny roared when touched by the rightful king

The Hill of Tara is best known as being an ancient seat of power on the island. It was from atop this hill that 142 kings oversaw their kingdom – quite literally, as it is said that on a clear day you can see half of the counties of Ireland from this spot! Soak up the views of Celtic Ireland while the energy from the myth-laden Kingdom of Tara makes its presence known.

Hill of Tara...home of the roaring Stone of Destiny

However, this was no ordinary kingship, for it followed no family lineage. The king of Ireland was chosen by the Lia Fail, or ‘Stone of Destiny’.

According to Irish mythology, this coronation stone was brought to the Hill of Tara by ancient Celtic gods, the Tuatha Dé Danann, as one of their sacred objects. It is said to let out a great roar when touched by the rightful king of Tara.

Try your luck, brace yourself, and give it a pat. You never know, you may discover you are the next king or queen of Ireland!

Enter the world of eternal joy

Between 4000-2,500BC, the people of Tara believed the hill to be an entrance to the otherworld – the site where gods entered our world. So important was this otherworld legacy to the future kingship that the high kings of Tara, on their inauguration, had to symbolically marry the goddess Medb in order to become king! Medb, you see, was believed to have originally come from the Otherworld.

Sont Carvings Tara near the roaring Stone of Destiny
This importance of the pagan religion in Tara also led to a historic encounter between St Patrick and the high kings on the Hill of Tara. Legend goes that St Patrick, on his mission to bring Christianity to Ireland, first travelled here to confront the pagan king, Laoghaire, at the religion’s most powerful site, to announce that Christianity had arrived in Ireland.

The Irish are known for their storytelling, and the Hill of Tara is no exception when it comes to some rather legendary tales. If there are any Indiana Jones fans out there, the Hill of Tara is believed to be the site of the infamous Ark of the Covenant. In fact, in 1899, a group of British-Israelites was convinced the Ark lay beneath the Hill of Tara.

They didn’t find it, of course, and there were also protests against excavating this sacred site. But you have to admit, it does add a little more magic and intrigue to the site!

Hill of Tara – ancient seat of Irish kings
History of the Hill of Tara

More top attractions in Ireland

Ireland of the Welcomes…where to stay and visit while on holiday

Galway named as one of the ‘best trips’ in the world by top American travel magazine

The top seven things tourists love about Ireland

Dublin named as one of top 10 cities to travel to in Europe

Top ten must visit Irish destinations for 2020

Walk in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker and Jon Snow behind the scenes at Ireland’s top film locations

Top 10 heritage gems in Ireland’s Ancient East

Camper touring Ireland – the perfect adventure

More popular articles and videos

The mystery of what Maureen O’Hara whispered to make John Wayne look so shocked

Meghan Markle can trace her family tree back to Ireland

Matt Damon winning hearts and minds with charm assault on Ireland

Cork trio perform best Irish dance video of the year

Action hero Tom Cruise was once attacked by an old man in a Kerry pub

Celebrate with the top 10 Irish recipes

Liam Neeson speaks about his late wife in emotional interview

Dating site explains why Irish men make wonderful husband material

How to become an Irish citizen

Billy Connolly says public should ignore politicians and listen to comedians

Take a look inside Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan’s stunning Irish home

Ireland Calling Videos

Check out the Ireland Calling YouTube Channel for more great videos like these.

More on Ireland at 

Join our community