Stonelight, was founded by Martin Brennan and Toby Hall, as a megalithic research body. Martin came to Ireland mid 1970's with the task of researching his ancestral megalithic roots. The following ten years of research lead to many exciting and important discoveries. The most dramatic of these being the equinox and cross quarter day solar events when the rising sun shines down the passage ways of Cairns "T" & "L" at Loughcrew in County Meath. These spectacular discoveries along with similar solar discoveries at Knowth, and Dowth form the backbone of Martin's second book The Stars and the Stones, which was first published by Thames and Hudson and is currently available as The Stones of Time, Bear Books.
There has been and still exists in Ireland an Archaeological and academic tradition to refer to our ancient megalithic Cairns as "tombs". From mythological times through all the ages there has also been a thread of researchers and antiquarians who have felt that to label these 5000 plus year old cairns "tombs" was selling them short and infact technically incorrect. This is not to deny that burial and ancestor remembrance was not important to the megalithic constructors. The analogy of burials around or in a church or Cathedral does not turn that Ritual Sacred Building into a Tomb. Stonelight has been endeavoring to have the present day physical guardians of these sites recognize them as sacred sites and drop the inappropriate Tomb title from the cairns. This has proven to be a much more difficult task than one would expect.
When the Stars and the Stones was reviewed in the Sunday Tribune Newspaper in December 1983 by a leading Irish archaeologist under the title "Stone Mad" she opened her "review"-- "As an archaeologist I find myself at a loss as how to attempt a review of this book or say anything favorable about it beyond the fact that it is well produced.This however is something we have come to expect from the publishing firm concerned" tough stuff but this vitriol did not stop the same lady from bringing a group of her students up to Loughcrew to witness the Brennan discovered sunbeam travel across the engraved backstone! Pictured below left. This dramatic happening awakened many people to the realization that these enegmatic Cairns where now being revealed irrefutiably as solar obseveratories, witnessing the sun pass across the backstone in Cairn T leaves one in little doubt that this 5000 year old is far more than a tomb, futher key day alignments in cairns built up a picture that the many Cairns were each aligned to specific solar and lunar risings and setting. The detail in these observations goes far beyond the relatively basis sundialing required for agricultural and day keeping purposes. So these sites could now be proven to be not primarily tombs but at least highly accurate observatories.

This kind of thinking is what lies behind the inabilty to recognise our sacred heritage as more than a collection of cemetaries! We have often though of the saying, "Revealed truth is first ridiculed, later resisted and finally becomes self evident" it is all the more astonishing when Newgrange has been sited from earliest times as an "abode of the Gods" and reachers such as Vallancy and Borlase, author of the wonderful Dolmens of Ireland have repeatedly expressed the opinion that these great Cairns were not primerally designed as Tombs, this trickle of more than tombs theorists has grown to positive movement now consisting I believe the majority of people visiting the Sacred sites, new signposts at many sites like the Cairns at Carrowkeel talk of the "cemetary". We as at Stonelight would be appeciative of support in our aim to get the great Cairns to be called Cairns and not Tombs. This falls along way short of calling them Temples which many would argue is fair enough.


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Page launched 30th June 1999.