Ireland’s vibrant history is reflected in a striking variety of prehistoric evidence scattered across the country, like megalithic tombs and dolmens, Celtic ring forts and burial sites - each of them with its own individual local legend and myth. The Celtic culture and language dominated Irish history for thousands of years, and even now, that legacy is still with us. The famous St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland in the 4th century. Christianity brought about the building of beautiful churches and abbeys along with the widespread development of monastic settlements. One monastic settlement was erected by a monk called Mosacra in the 7th century in the townlands of Saggart. Saggart is the Irish word for Priest and hence the village was named after him. From this outpost Mosacra spread Christianity leaving his legacy in the area until the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th century. There is one section of this settlement remaining at the Lynch family farm overlooking the outdoor arena where trail rides begin. Some trail rides pass the remains of an Irish Ring fort in the Dublin forest which dates back to the 9th/10th century. Vikings discovered these vulnerable settings and raided many of these tempting targets of their precious ornaments and wonderfully crafted books. In an attempt to save their relics, the monks built distinctive round towers, which Vikings couldn’t loot. You can find round towers in the local village of Clondalkin and the picturesque early medieval monastic settlement at Glendalough.
Centuries later in the 12th century war was waged between the British Crowns forces and most rebellious of Irish families over lands and holding. In the 13th Century the notorious Irish Families of the O'Toole's and O’Byrne’s waged a "War of Fire and Sword" against the Crown. During these years tenants fled and lands became barren whilst Coolmine became the stage for numerous rebellions against the Crown. They burnt out farms, pillaged and laid waste to villages in the area under the Crowns rule.
At this time the lands of Saggart and Coolmine were regarded as "lands of war" where the Crown deployed armed forces to guard its property at Saggart against the "Irish of the mountains of Leinster... Felons and Rebels"
The Lynch family looked for any leftover precious gems, artefacts or gold in 1911 when John "the Boss" Lynch bought the estate. There was only an old underground passage where women and clergymen fled with the churches precious gold and jewels which surfaced in Rathcoole.
Today Dublin's hidden charms may be forgotten but its history resurfaces when our guides greet tourists from all over the world with a warm welcome and a "CEAD MILE FAILTE" (A hundred thousand welcomes)
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