Visits For January, 2008

Saturday, 5th January 2008

The First Trip For 2008

Welcome to 2008! I got off to a slow start this year, because I didn't go out on New Year's Day as I have done in recent years. However, the first trip of the year turned out to be a very interesting one. For once I won't be posting details of all the sites I visited, because today I had a RTÉ reporter and cameraman with me. We were recording a little piece for Nationwide. Ill let you all know when it's due to air.

The only site I'll mention is the lovely little urban portal tomb in Ballybrack (County Dublin). I was shocked to see that the top of the capstone has been badly vandalised. Graffiti has been daubed all over it in white paint.

Ballybrack (Co. Dublin)Portal Tomb2 New Images

Sunday, 6th January 2008

More Bullauns And Another New Bit Of Rock Art

After the excitement of going out filming for RTÉ yesterday I needed something more gentle. Recently Andy Ryan stumbled upon two bullaun stones right next to Ullard (County Kilkenny) church in Kilkenny, so I headed off to see those.

En route I stopped off at another one I only heard about recently and revisited the stone at Kildreenagh (County Carlow). While at Kildreenagh I also hunted out the second bullaun in a field close by. Whilst returning from this stone I spotted an earthfast boulder with a single cupmark - another previously unrecorded piece of rock art within sight of Mount Leinster.

When I reached Ullard I met a couple visiting the holy well near to the bullauns - the well is still in regular use and still believed to cure ailments. I let the couple take the waters before photographing the well. Then the rain came, so my day was cut short, but luckily not by much and I'd seen most of the sites I'd set out to see.

Ballymore Eustace West (Co. Kildare)Bullaun Stone6 New Images
Cloch An Phoill - Aghade (Co. Carlow)Standing Stone4 New Images
Kildreenagh 2 (Co. Carlow)Cross3 New Images
Kildreenagh (Co. Carlow)Bullaun Stone3 New Images
Kildreenagh (Co. Carlow)Bullaun Stone6 New Images
Kildreenagh (Co. Carlow)Rock Art1 New Image
Ullard (Co. Kilkenny)Church3 New Images
Ullard (Co. Kilkenny)High Cross1 New Image
Ullard (Co. Kilkenny)Bullaun Stone3 New Images
Ullard (Co. Kilkenny)Bullaun Stone4 New Images
St. Fiachre's Well - Ullard (Co. Kilkenny)Holy Well3 New Images

Sunday, 27th January 2008

A Beautiful Day Around Glenarm

I'm starting to love County Antrim more and more. Not only is it chocked full of wonderful monuments, but the landscape is beautiful and the people are so friendly. Stopping and talking to farmers is seriously slowing me down on my research, but I don't mind that much. It's a pleasure to pass the time of day with these great people.

Today the weather was outstanding. I was rather glad about this, because one of the sites I was visiting involved a 3km walk. The lovely, phallic standing stone on Ballygilbert Hill is great. I was very surprised at its size, too. I had expected something a lot smaller. The view over the bay below and out to sea towards the Maidens or Hulin Rocks and northeast to The Mull of Kintyre is pretty good too!

I managed to get to al but one of the sites on my list today as well as stumbling across a couple of cairns that I wasn't expecting to see. As well as seeing a few new monuments I also popped back to see the rather ungainly portal tomb at Ticloy (County Antrim) that I visited some 900 monuments ago.

Last week saw my monument count go over 1900 - quite a landmark. I'm not sure when I'll reach 2000 at the moment, because a lot of the ones I have not seen are rather spread out now: there's little opportunity to go and blitz an area and see 20 in one go these days.

I still don't know when the piece we recorded for RTÃ's Nationwide program will be broadcast, but I'll let you all know as soon as I do. As mentioned last week I have rewritten one of my other websites -, which features news and info about my books. This new site is now live.

Ballyutoag (Co. Antrim)Court Tomb3 New Images
Ballymarlagh (Co. Antrim)Court Tomb1 New Image
Ballygawn (Co. Antrim)Cairn3 New Images
Ballygilbert (Co. Antrim)Standing Stone8 New Images
Ballycoos (Co. Antrim)Cairn3 New Images
Ticloy (Co. Antrim)Portal Tomb6 New Images
Lisnahay South (Co. Antrim)Court Tomb14 New Images
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