On 27th April 2013 the group visited Crew Hill.
This was a most important visit for our group. We visited the site which was the crowning place of the ancient Ulster kings ; the site originally consisted of an inauguration stone surrounded by trees where the King would be appointed by his clan .This was "Craeb Tulcha", the sacred tree, literally "spreading branch", now known as Crew Hill (Crewhollage), near Glenavy. A great battle was fought there in1004, in which the Cruthin King, the Ulidian King and many princes of Ulster were killed - indeed, complete disaster was possibly only averted because the victorious O Neill King was himself one of the fatalities. After a second battle here in 1099, which was lost by the Cruthin, the sacred tree was cut down as a final insult after the battle. This marked the end of the overall authority of the Cruthin in Ulster.
At that time the people worshipped in a similar fashion to Druids and natural life such as certain trees were absolutely sacred; the King would turn around three times reciting an oath with his foot upon the stone as part of the ceremony . This was common practice at other sites such as Dunadd Fort in Scottish Dalriada, the stone of the Magennis in Newry , and also at Portrush where the stone later became known as the Witch's Chair . Although the site is listed by the Northern Irish Tourist Board and Lisburn Council , having been the subject of an archaeological dig by Queen's University in the 1980's. We were shocked to see a telephone mast and sub station has been built only a short distance away , we are launching a petition to fence off the immediate site of the stone to save for posterity . After the visit we were given a lecture by Dr Ian Adamson on the significance of the area and its people and received copies of his excellent book, Dalaradia.