Fairy Tree by Barry Hendrickson

Finding Fairy Trees

These lone hawthorn trees sprinkled throughout the Irish countryside are thought to be a sacred home for fairies. While we were traveling on the West side of Ireland, we kept finding these lone fairy trees. We were drawn to them.


What we learned that trees were worshipped in Ireland for centuries and most were believed to have magical or healing properties. For example Fairy trees, typically a Hawthorne, are found all over the countryside. Certain Hawthorne’s are considered sacred in Ireland. Stories are told that these trees are a favorite gathering place for fairies. Irish beliefs say never to disturb the home of the fairies or it will bring you bad luck.


When we Irish look at our history, our literature and poetry, our music and art, we find trees as part of our identity and expression.  Certain Hawthorne’s are considered sacred in Ireland. This respect for trees is a connection to when people lived and worked closer with the land, and a direct link to Ireland’s ancient Celtic beliefs.


Even today, these fairy trees are both feared and respected. As recently as 1999 in the town of Latoon, in County Clare a very expensive highway construction project was diverted, so it wouldn’t uproot a lone Hawthorne tree. It was believed if the tree was disturbed then everyone who drove on that road would have bad luck.


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Fairy Tree

County Galway, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson, Printed by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson

© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography
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