Tag Archives: Tir nan Og

Tuatha Dé Danann

1 Mar


Literally ‘The people of the Goddess Danu’, or in this case from left to right:

Rob, Angus, Jessica, Derek and Sarah – the core of the Friends of Lynwood Gardens, a small green treasure in the heart of Sheffield which has brought together these doughty folk. It is said that the Tuatha (ancestral Irish folk) had four great treasures or talismans that showed their skills in arts, crafts and magic. The first treasure was the Stone of Fal, which would scream whenever a true king placed his foot on it. The next talisman was the Magic Sword of Nuada – the one armed king of the Tuatha – a fearsome weapon that always inflicted a mortal blow when drawn. The third treasure was the spear of the Sun God Lugh, this spear never missed its target when thrown. The final treasure was the Cauldron of Dagda – a cornucopia from which an inexhaustible supply of food came forth.

Well, the friends of Lynwood have in their way recreated four sacred treasures in this hallowed ground in Broomhall. Firstly, they have uncovered and enhanced a strange old neglected Victorian garden with a work ethic enshrined in the practise of sustainable community endeavour rooted in sound ecological practise. Secondly they have safely navigated the multitude of conflicting local and municipal demands and issues without losing sight of the intrinsic nature of their work – enjoyment in being part of the Green Wood. Thirdly, they have generously shared the fruits of their labours with young and old alike and demonstrated a canny educationalists skill of ‘show, don’t tell’ to persuade locals, councillors, funders, movers and shakers (just like the Tuatha who showed great ‘domestic’ skill and leadership). Finally, and most unlike many other friends’ groups I have had the pleasure of working with, they have created a fellowship founded upon youthful energy and a celebration of diversity – a great treasure.

Their figure head and Chairman, Derek, who lives beside Lynwood gardens is, in a very real sense, Lynwood’s guardian spirit – he has quietly woven himself into the very fabric of the landscape:


He has trained and nurtured these mature willows into spectacular living green spun candy floss-like sculptures, worthy of any royal park. Just one of the treasures of Lynwood.

It could be Tir na n’Og – the land of the young, I’ve been there, have you?