– Just in time for Halloween, archaeologists have made an interesting discovery that should more light on the infamous Hellfire Club that is still associated with dark tales of black masses and Satan worship.
Archaeologists have turned to the ground in order to discover more secrets of the Hellfire Club’s history and origins – and they have not been disappointed.
In the 18th century, several exclusive clubs for high society rakes established in Britain and Ireland. Today these clubs are called the Hellfire Clubs.
Hellfire Club has long been a place shrouded in mystery. Founded in 1746 by, Sir Francis Dashwood (1708-1781), Hellfire Club remains until today surrounded by a mist of superstition and it’s name remains associated with tales of dark deeds taking place here.
Some say it is the last place you’d wish to be on a starless night.
Sir Francis’s club was never originally known as a Hellfire Club. It was given this name much later. In the beginning it was officially known as “The Knights of St Francis” or, more informally, as the “Medmenham Monks”.
Over the years stories have abounded about Sir Francis Dashwood and his “monks” practicing all kinds of wickedness in their “abbey” by the Thames: mock Christian rituals, Black Masses, cursing ceremonies. Meetings occurred twice a month and the members addressed each other as brothers. Legends of Black Masses and Satan or demon worship have subsequently become attached to the club, beginning in the late Nineteenth Century.
Located in the Dublin Mountains, on Montpelier Hill there are ruins of an old Hellfire Club that was built was on an ancient tomb. The Hellfire Club was first built in 1725 by politician William Connolly as a shooting lodge.
Archaeologists excavating the site have come across a large ancient tomb that could shed more light on the superstition that surrounded the Hellfire Club.
It is not the first time researchers find ancient tombs in this area, but this one is the largest discovered so far.
“We knew one was here as it was recorded that there was two potential passage tombs, but it’s great to say definitively that this here,” Neil Jackman, from Aberta Heritage who are running the dig with South Dublin County Council said.
“It’s exactly like Newgrange – a large mound of stones, with a stone-lined passage.
“Inside you would find cremated remains. The tomb might have been used for the community, or it might have been hierarchical. But, it would’ve been for a large community.
“It’s an extremely rare find. The last one was discovered in County Kilkenny about 20 years ago.”
“The original folklore about the site is very interesting. Folklore tends to reflect what society is afraid of.
The tomb or cairn being destroyed would have made people fearful. They would have treated it as sacred and it would have made people uneasy.”
He also said the dig was a great opportunity for the public to come and see archaeology at work.
“It’s an open excavation so people can come up to the site and chat to us. They’ve been telling us about their memories and family stories of the Hellfire Club.
“It’s a real opportunity to see us digging in the field.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant – and the weather has been good, so that’s helped too. We’ve been incredibly lucky.”