Visits For May, 2006

Saturday, 6th May 2006

Warming Up For A Road Trip

After his gig in Belfast Julian Cope joined me for a few days sight seeing. The main targets were in the north of Ireland, but the Saturday was a short day due to the late Friday night. To make if different we headed south first of all and headed for some southern portal tombs. We didn't get as far as we liked, but I managed to show him one new one - Leac na Scail (County Kilkenny) and we revisited Browne's Hill (County Carlow) because when researching for The Megalithic European we were there in the dark. Today he got to see it properly.

We also popped into see the The Druids' Judgement Seat (County Dublin) as well - always a good place for a few photos.

The Druids' Judgement Seat - Killiney (Co. Dublin)Portal Tomb2 New Images
Browne's Hill - Kernanstown (Co. Carlow)Portal Tomb6 New Images
Leac na Scail - Kilmogue (Co. Kilkenny)Portal Tomb2 New Images

Sunday, 7th May 2006

Some of the North\'s Finest

With two days of site visits lined up we set off for County Down. The plan was to take Julian to the show sites - my brief? "I wanna see big dolmens!"

Well, that's easy enough, but I planned a little more. You can't go to Down without seeing some fine court tombs and (if you've never been) the Giant's Ring. I picked out a fair collection of diverse sites to cover as much variation as possible.

In wedge tombs and court tombs the burial compartment is known as a gallery and collectively wedge and court tombs are called classified as 'gallery graves'. This is because the inner area is long and narrow, i.e. bascially rectangular, in plan.

In court tombs the gallery is usually divided into two or more chambers by jambs. Wedge tombs are segmented by sill stones, as are a few court tombs.

Clontygora (Co. Armagh)Court Tomb5 New Images
Ballymacdermot (Co. Armagh)Court Tomb3 New Images
Pat Kearney's Big Stone - Goward (Co. Down)Portal Tomb2 New Images
Ballynoe (Co. Down)Stone Circle3 New Images
The Giant's Ring - Ballynahatty (Co. Down)Passage Tomb3 New Images
Legananny (Co. Down)Portal Tomb4 New Images
Ballykeel (Co. Armagh)Portal Tomb6 New Images
Annaghmare (Co. Armagh)Court Tomb3 New Images
Kilnasaggart (Co. Armagh)Standing Stone4 New Images

Wednesday, 10th May 2006

Catching The Light

When the day's really clear and it's looking like a good sunset why not pop out to one of your local portal tombs and take some photos? That's what I decided to do this evening. I visited Glendruid to see if I could capture it lit up by the late evning sun, but I was about half an hour (or a month) too early. I'll keep trying this one until I manage it.

Glendruid - Brennanstown (Co. Dublin)Portal Tomb2 New Images

Saturday, 13th May 2006

Hunting For Good Photos

Another fairly ok day, so I decided to try to get a good picture of Ballybrack portal tomb. It's only a short drive from my house which makes it no trouble to pop by and see what the light's like. Not Brilliant this evening, but I did notice something rather interesting for the first time.

Ballybrack (Co. Dublin)Portal Tomb2 New Images

Sunday, 14th May 2006

North Dublin Surprises

My aim for today was to revisit Howth and take another look around the Ben, but Howth was totally covered in cloud and sea mist, so I decided to head up the coast and inland after taking a walk on the beach in Sutton. A handful of sites later I went home very cold and wet, and with a compounded head-cold.

Work on the book, Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Dublin, is going well. The text is almost complete and I am now dealing with the images, the map and several illustrations. I've realised that I really don't have good images of several sites and will be heading back out to those over the coming weeks as well as visiting some of the north Dublin sites I still haven't been to. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I don't find anything too revalational while I'm looking that makes me need to rewrite big chunks of the book.

Sutton South (Co. Dublin)Artificial Mound1 New Image
Knocken (Co. Dublin)Cairn2 New Images
Inch (Co. Dublin)Artificial Mound2 New Images
Westown North (Co. Dublin)Barrow4 New Images
Mallahow (Co. Dublin)Artificial Mound3 New Images

Tuesday, 23rd May 2006

Piperstown and Glenasmole Valley

It's always good to meet someone that has become fascinated by prehistory and this evening I met with Andy to wonder around Glenasmole Valley. We had a quick walk around Piperstown and then went further up the valley to see a few bits.

Whilst returning from Cunard (County Dublin) I think we stumbled across the (so far) elusive Cunard stone row.

Glassamucky Mountain (Co. Dublin)Bullaun StoneAwaiting New Images
Cunard (Co. Dublin)Portal Tomb3 New Images
Cunard (Co. Dublin)Stone Row or Alignment2 New Images

Saturday, 27th May 2006

More of Piperstown and a Big Hill

The cairns on Piperstown Hill have fascinated me for a while now, but I was once told that there was nothing to see so I never bothered crossing to them. However, I recently saw pictures of them and realised that there is something to see.

While I was there I encountered three archaeology students doing a survey. It's great to see someone taking an interest in the area! The conversation I had with them was really useful, because I learnt that the excavations that revealed a stone circle and many hut sites was actually around the cairns marked on the OS map and NOT at the grid ref quoted in the report. After looking around the area I think the plans drawn of the site during excavation may have been a little too selective. The cairn with the 'stone circle' beneath it is certainly suspect - that is the stone circle is suspect as several stones that stand next to the cairn were omitted.

After that great chance meeting I climbed Seahan hill, hopefully for the last time ever!!!! Whilst up there I came across something very exciting ....

Piperstown (Co. Dublin)Cairn2 New Images
Piperstown (Co. Dublin)Cairn2 New Images
Piperstown (Co. Dublin)Standing Stone1 New Image
Seahan Hill (Co. Dublin)Passage Tomb CemeteryAwaiting New Images
Seahan I (Co. Dublin)Passage Tomb2 New Images
Seahan II (Co. Dublin)Cairn2 New Images
Seahan III (Co. Dublin)Passage Tomb3 New Images
Seahan IV (Co. Dublin)Passage Tomb2 New Images

Sunday, 28th May 2006

Howth Bottom to Top

Howth is one of my favourite parts of County Dublin. With everything else I do around Ireland I don't get the chance to spend as much time walking across or sitting on the top of Howth. Well, I certainly made up for it today! Four and a half hours of trekking around, meeting lovely people and enjoying not only the monuments, but the rhododendrons too. If you have chance to get to to see them in the next couple of weeks do so. They are amazing at the moment, but won't last long.

I managed to get onto the west peak at Howth after a hill-runner told me about the right of way across the golf course. After that I revisited the portal tomb, by climbing up and over Muck Rock and descending trough the above mentioned rhododendron gardens.

Blackheath - Ben Of Howth (Co. Dublin)Chambered Cairn2 New Images
Dunhill (Co. Dublin)Cairn2 New Images
Howth Castle (Co. Dublin)Portal Tomb2 New Images
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