The sun is the source of life on earth, the seasonal cycle and most forms of energy. All three aspects are represented in Brigit's Garden. The sun trail is an attractive 1 km walk through our woodlands and meadows, with sun features, energy installations and the crannog, with boards giving visitors information on ecology, history and mythology.
Sun Trail Gallery
The Crannóg is a reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse made of oak poles set in a circle and woven with split hazel. The roof is made of ash poles and is thatched with reeds. Many roundhouses like this were built on crannógs (small islands in lakes) and were typical dwelling houses in Celtic times.
The Crannóg was built in 2008 by craftspeople from six European countries who were learning traditional skills on an EU-funded project.
The Sun Trail invites you to explore the magical old woodland with hazel, ash and birch trees, our restored wildflower meadows full of flowers in the summer time, and the lochán or small lake that hums with life. We manage all the habitats to encourage biodiversity and to balance public access with the needs of nature.
The old Celtic calendar included celebrations of the solstices and equinoxes as well as the four Celtic festivals, and many of Ireland's megalithic tombs are orientated to sunrise or sunset on one of these important dates. The winter and summer solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes are defined by the earth's orbit around the sun, and are marked in Brigit's Garden by four Sun Features:
Sun Feature for the North and the Winter Solstice A circular 'bed' of limestone is sheltered by a willow enclosure and standing stones and is carved with constellations visible at 6pm on December 21st, the shortest day of the year. This is a place to lie and dream, with the stars above you and below you. Designer: Mick Wilkins
Sun feature for the East and the Spring Equinox. (To be constructed) The Dawn Seat will be a bog-oak bench on a raised mound with a view to the East, inviting you to sit and look out at the rising sun and new beginnings.
Sun feature for the South and the Summer Solstice. This is the largest sundial in the country and tells with great accuracy not only the time of the day but also the month of the year. Instead of one clock the Calendar Sundial has a clock for each month and for the solstices and equinoxes. The shadow is cast by the gnomon, a 1.75m spike of bog oak. The angle of the shadow tells the time and the length of the shadow, which varies with the seasons, tells the date.
Designers; Jenny Beale & Colin Brown. Stone carving: Mick Wilkins Gnomon: Ronnie Graham
World Cairn Fountain
Sun feature for the West and the Autumn Equinox. At the equinoxes, the Northern and Southern hemispheres experience equal day and night, a moment of equality across the whole of planet Earth. The World Fountain invites people to reflect a moment and to make a wish or intention for themselves or the world.