Visits For August, 2004

Sunday, 1st August 2004

Happy Lughnasadh

Yes, it's the first of August when all things 'Lugg' come into their prime and this morning I was able to put pay to much speculation by myself about the importance of a little hill in west county Dublin and its relationship with Howth!

I'm not normally back from a trip to the stones by 7am, but today I was up at Cnocan an lolair (County Dublin), standing on the cairn with my video camera to welcome the Lugnassa sun. P.W. Joyce says the placename Lugg refers to 'a hollow' or 'a hollow in a hill', but although it came to mean this, this can't be the roots of the name. When I read that there was a Neolithic henge on Lugg next to Saggart Hill I knew the name must be related to the god Lugh and this morning was my chance to test the theory.

I had estimated that the sun would rise somewhere near to Howth and I wasn't far out, but I was amazed to see the sun rise right behind Ireland's Eye, a little island that has been playing on my mind for ages. From this cairn and passage tomb the little hill of Lugg lies directly on the alignment of the Lugnassa sunrise. I think I can safely say that the name Lugg comes from a folk memory of this event and it's probably that Lughnasadh festivals were once held at this cairn.

Cnocan an lolair - Knockananiller Hill (Co. Dublin)Passage Tomb5 New Images

Sunday, 29th August 2004

A Sheela-fest

With all the travleling to megalithic sites in the UK the other week and with the rain last week I decided to do something a little different: today I went on a longhaul journey with the key targets being Sheela-na-Gigs. I managed to see six in all.

The weather was off and on all day. Raining now, sun shining next and then rain again. Fortunately it was one of those days where it didn't rain while I was actually at a site. None of the Sheelas I did see were on churches and seeing a lot in one session really does drive home how diverse they are in style.

I also went to have a look at the restored doorway of Clonfert Cathedral, but there's one small snag: they haven't finished restoring it yet! Some of the detail is just visible, but you can't see the whole doorway at the moment due to scaffolding.

Cloghan Castle (Co. Roscommon)Sheela-na-Gig3 New Images
Skregg (Co. Roscommon)Sheela-na-Gig3 New Images
Skregg (Co. Roscommon)Passage Tomb5 New Images
Tisrara (Co. Roscommon)Cross6 New Images
Ballinderry (Co. Galway)Sheela-na-Gig2 New Images
St. Cuan's Well - Cornamucklagh (Co. Galway)Holy Well4 New Images
Clonfert Cathedral (Co. Galway)Church7 New Images
Garry Castle (Co. Offaly)Sheela-na-Gig2 New Images
Ballyfinboy Castle (Co. Tipperary)Sheela-na-Gig3 New Images
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