Wonderful Web: Megalithomania

yaaaaaaargh! County by county, site by site, monument by monument, Megalithomania is an ever-expanding archive of Ireland’s prehistoric treasures. This, ladies and Gents, is what the web was designed for…

All too often here on Blather, we focus our attentions on complaining about the grim statistics and hideous bile that the web serves up. Plagues, war and celebrity babies swarm all over us like a cheap blog. So we’ve decided to do something a bit different. We’ve decided to start a new series of articles which highlight imaginative, creative and wonderful uses of the web. And we begin with one of the most wonderful sites that we’ve ever seen: Megalithomania.
Updated on a weekly basis, Megalithomania is the brainchild of Tom ‘FourWinds’ who originally set out to document his personal visits to megalithic sites in Ireland, giving information and photos on each site. It has slowly expanded to become the web’s central repository on all information relating to in-situ antiquities in Ireland, including Burial mounds, Crannogs, Forts, Stone Circles and Castles.
Using nothing more than basic web editing and database tools, FourWinds has given birth to the best, most accesible database of information on Irish prehistoric sites that I’ve ever seen – better than anything that 100 years of work by the National Museum or the lamentably defunct Duchas ever created.
Each site visit is documented individually, with photos, detailed descriptions, grid references, directions and comments. They are also organised by county with an interactive map of the whole island for ease of use. Each entry also includes a listing of sites within proximity (to help you interpret the greater landscape), links to related web articles and downloadbale PDF versions of the information for printing.
We here at Blather are of the opinion, that in an age when our Government see fit to bulldoze their way through heritage sites of unfathomable historic and cultural importance, Megalithomania is more than a simple website. It’s nothing less than a documentation of our endangered heritage. This site, and it’s author deserve an award. And the gratitude of anyone who cares about exploring and preserving our past. Brilliant, clever and oh so wonderful.
Find out more:
National Museum of Ireland
The Modern Antiquarian
Wonderful Web:
The complete Wonderful Web archive

Damien DeBarra was born in the late 20th century and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He now lives in London, England where he shares a house with four laptops, three bikes and a large collection of chairs.