Dee’s Bones and the Lingams of Ireland

From the Maclise Portrait-Gallery of Illustrious Literary Characters

In December of 1830 the Royal Irish Academy declared a competition. A gold medal and fifty pounds would be awarded to the best essay on the most enduring mystery of the island’s architectural patrimony. From Antrim to Kerry they had stood since time immemorial, some of them thirty metres tall under corbelled, conical stone roofs, with their doors several feet above the ground. Who built them, and to what purpose? Enter…