This bundle includes:
Lough Neagh: An Atlas of the Natural, Built and Cultural Heritage
It is impossible for any observer to look at a map of Ireland and fail to notice the expanse of blue in the centre of Northern Ireland denoting what many have described as a freshwater inland sea. Standing on the shoreline, whether it be in Ballyronan, Washingbay, Oxford Island or Antrim, one could easily be transported to some coastal seascape but for the faint outline of the opposite shore, often set in a haze by the winter drizzle or the summer heat.
This is Lough Neagh, the largest lake in these islands. It is the scale and geography that makes Lough Neagh such a unique heritage feature. This cascades downwards to incorporate the natural environment, archaeology, historical structures and communities. For millennia people have lived by the lough and earned a livelihood along its shoreline and on its waters. The enigmatic beauty and effervescence of the lough has inspired poets and authors, singers and songwriters.
Bringing together archaeologists, geographers, historians, scientists and other experts in their field, many with a strong connection to Lough Neagh, this beautifully illustrated volume includes 50 essays which explore the diversity of interactions between the people of the lough and the natural, cultural and built environment from the earliest times to the present day.
Wonders and Legends of Lough Neagh
Most, if not all, of the outstanding geographical features which shape the land of Ireland have associated stories and threads of tradition. Those pertaining to Lough Neagh are spread over an extraordinarily long period of time and emanate from a rich diversity of peoples. Throughout the centuries, the lough has featured in tales written and told in Latin, Irish and English, in scholars’ texts and in children’s rhymes.
It has been claimed that this body of water formed from an overflowing well, that a curious fish-woman lived beneath its surface and that a giant scooped out a massive sod of earth to make the Lough Neagh basin. Other sources tell how the lough once turned to blood, how holly wood left at the bottom will become stone, how immersion in its waters affects a powerful cure.
This short book takes a fresh look at the wonders and legends inspired by Lough Neagh, revisiting sources composed more than a thousand years ago to relate how the stories were originally told, what message their authors were trying to convey and what natural phenomena they may have observed around the lough in the early Middle Ages.