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Secrets of the Stones; decoding Ireland's lost past

Re-examining, redefining and ultimately rebuilding Ireland's most iconic ancient monuments is the core mission of Secrets of the Stones; decoding Ireland's lost past. In this innovative history strand, each episode will set out to separate myth from truth, find out what really happened and to bring to life Ireland's most visionary and nationally significant sites.

Launch the interactive history timeline

The series consists of two one hour specials:

Episode one - pre history, the story of 'Ireland's first people'.

Episode two - early Christian,' God architects' and beginning of Irish Christianity.

The series also views Ireland's history from an international perspective - far from trailing behind Europe we reveal Ireland to be at the forefront of visionary ways of thinking in language and culture.

In the series we set out to see who commissioned and designed these ancient monuments. What was their vision? How did they mobilise the resources, manpower and materials they needed? What was their belief system? How did they organise themselves socially? How did they express themselves culturally? What is the legacy of these places and how have they influenced the history of Ireland?

By answering these questions we will be redefining our views of Ireland's ancient societies, reshaping our knowledge of the past.

Secrets of the Stones - The Book.
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Each episode uses feature film technology and high end computer graphics to unlock the secrets of the past bringing 3-4 key sites to life as has never been seen before. We will see how these sites are interconnected and how the traditional and somewhat isolated way of viewing them has often missed the point - these sites are interconnected and cannot be viewed alone - they are part of a wider cultural landscape interconnected both physically and through time.

We also collaborated closely with commercial and state agencies, securing exclusive access to their research and findings; gaining access to sites; showing archaeology and investigation in action.

The series was produced in high definition at the RTÉ Cork production centre. The series was produced by Colm Crowley and directed by Julian Thomas and Lisa-Sabina Harney. The chief Historical consultant was Dr Peter Harbison RIA. The main television consultant was Rob Vance

For detailed information about the series please download this PDF (link).

For further information on any of the sites highlighted in this programme, or on the many other heritage sites of Ireland, visit

Website and interactive history timeline designed by Conor Hurley (University College Cork).
Content copyright RTÉ/Rob Vance.