The Druids

The Druids were priests who carried out religious rituals in Iron Age Britain and France. The Romans, who visited and later conquered France and Britain, met Druids and wrote about their beliefs and rites. Although these writings may not always have been completely truthful, it is clear that the Druids were an important group of people in many Iron Age societies. A little is also known about the Druid's beliefs and rituals, including the importance of mistletoe. Archaeologists rarely find direct evidence for priests in the Iron Age. But they often find evidence for religious rites and sacrifices and many of these were probably carried out by Druids.

There are no pictures of Druids - what did they look like? Did they wear special clothes or were they dressed the same as other Iron Age people? Some archaeologists have argued that special headdresses or crowns such as that found on the head of the Deal Warrior may have been worn by some priests or Druids.

Modern Druids have no direct connection to the Druids of the Iron Age. Many of our popular ideas about the Druids are based on the misunderstandings and misconceptions of scholars 200 years ago. These ideas have been superceded by later study and discoveries. In particular, there is no link between the Iron Age Druids and the people who built and worshipped at Stonehenge, Wiltshire. This ancient monument was part of a religion that ended before the Iron Age began.

Related galleries