Ireland - Ancient passage tomb excavations at Hellfire Club in Dublin Mountains

There is a ruined building known as the Hellfire Club which stands on the summit of Montpelier Hill (Irish: Cnoc Montpelier) in County Dublin, Ireland. The building is a hunting lodge built around 1725 by William Conolly (9 April 1662 – 30 October 1729). Between 1735 to 1741 members of the Irish Hellfire Club, used the lodge as a meeting place. It is said that occult practices, black masses, sacrifices and devil worship took place there. There are many stories associated with the Hellfire Club. One is that a stranger came to the building on a stormy night and was invited in. He joined the members in a card game and when one of the players dropped his card on the floor and bent under the table to retrieve it, he saw that the stranger had a cloven hoof. At which point the visitor disappeared in a ball of flame. The ruined building is still said to be a very haunted and dark place. Montpelier Hill has long been associated with numerous paranormal events.

Even before the Hellfire Club began their activities the building was said to have been cursed. Originally there was a cairn with a prehistoric passage grave on the summit and stones from this were used in the construction of the lodge. Shortly after it was built a storm blew the roof off. Many locals saw this incident as punishment for interfering with the cairn. Now archaeologists are excavating what is thought to be an ancient passage tomb to the rear of the ruins of the Hellfire Club. So far they have uncovered the remains of the stone cairn that once formed the main mound of the tomb. They have also found other items, including flint used to make stone tools over 5,000 years ago, along with charcoal and some some tiny fragments of burnt bone. Supported by South Dublin County Council and Coillte, the Discovery Programme, the National Monuments Service and National Museum of Ireland, the project is being carried out by Neil Jackman from Abarta Heritage with the help of volunteers from the UCD School of Archaeology.

Image: Hell Fire Club from Abarta Heritage

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