Visits For October, 2006

Sunday, 8th October 2006

Wet in Wicklow

As I didn't manage to get out last week I was determined to get somewhere today. It was raining when I left and it didn't stop. I had planned to climb Keadeen and see the cairns up there, but as I arrived at the bottom of the mountain I couldn't see the top, which was covered in cloud. That ruled that plan out!

The only option left was to check out if Boleycarrigeen has been freed from the trees that surround it. Sadly not.

Boleycarrigeen (Co. Wicklow)Stone CircleAwaiting New Images
Colvinstown (Co. Wicklow)Ogham Stone1 New Image

Saturday, 14th October 2006

A Day of Extremes

For the last few weeks the weather has been terrible on the Sunday, but nice on the Saturday. This week I vowed that if it was nice on Saturday I would go out and make sure that I saw something. And today I certainly saw something.

A jaunt up to Cavan took me to two stone circles, a passage tomb, a henge, a portal tomb, a destroyed court tomb and a relocated wedge tomb. For some unknown reason none of these sites are particularly well-known ones, but hopefully with their appearance on this will change.

Update: It is hoped that my first book, Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Dublin will be relased on 11th November.

Banagher (Co. Cavan)Stone Circle3 New Images
Banagher (Co. Cavan)Passage Tomb6 New Images
Banagher (Co. Cavan)Henge2 New Images
Banagher (Co. Cavan)Portal Tomb4 New Images
Banagher (Co. Cavan)Court Tomb1 New Image
Aughrim - The Slieve Russell Hotel (Co. Cavan)Wedge Tomb12 New Images

Sunday, 15th October 2006

Finally, Two Things Off My List

For the last few weeks I've intended to climb Keadeen in Co. Wicklow, but the weather has ruined the day. However, today looked fine and I seized my chance. First though I had to check out the bullaun stones at Brittas. On previous attempts I had not managed to find the one documented in the Wicklow Archaeological Inventory, but had found two others. Recently, Andy Ryan had stopped by and located not only the 'proper' one, but a different one too.

When a bullaun that close to home pops up I just have to go and find it. Surprisingly I had actually walked passed the spot where these two are on my first visit, so I think someone must have found them and cleaned them up recently.

On my way up Keadeen the weather looked glorious. The sun was highlighting The Brusselstown Ring stone fort and the valley below was looking very nice. When I finally reached the top the cloud closed in and I couldn't see a thing! On the way back down it cleared again, but there was no way I was going back up.

Brittas III (Co. Wicklow)Bullaun Stone2 New Images
Brittas IV (Co. Wicklow)Bullaun Stone3 New Images
Keadeen (Co. Wicklow)Stone Row or Alignment1 New Image
Muckduff Upper (Co. Wicklow)Cairn1 New Image
Muckduff Upper (Co. Wicklow)Cairn2 New Images
Keadeen (Co. Wicklow)Passage Tomb3 New Images
Brusselstown Ring - Spinans Hill (Co. Wicklow)Hill Fort1 New Image

Sunday, 22nd October 2006

Into The Clouds

You'd think that I would learn! Last week I climbed Keadeen mountain, this week I decided to head up Baltinglass hill again. Luckily it turned out to be the opposite of last week - the hill was cloud-covered when I started to climb and clear shortly after I reached the top. One great difference between this trip up Baltinglass Hill and my previous one was that it wasn't very windy up there. Last time I couldn't stand up!

The reason for my revisit was to take some more pictures and to look for the carved orthostat in the one chamber. I didn't really manage either, to be honest. The carvings seem to have eroded away and the sky was so monochrome and light that it was impossible to get a balanced picture even with a graduated filter.

It was still worth it though. I love this monument. I just wish there was a clearly signposted, easy route up there!

The more sharp-eyed amongst you may have already noticed that I now give locational information in another format - UMT - a global grid reference system, that's a bit more useful than straight longitude/latitude.

And here's the news I've been waiting to give for so long now - My first book, Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Dublin will be in the shops and available from this website in early November!!! I will be offering slightly reduced P&P on it - keep an eye on my shop pages. Please try and buy it directly from myself and help support this website. Thank you.

Baltinglass (Co. Wicklow)Chambered Cairn3 New Images
Baltinglass Hill (Co. Wicklow)Passage Tomb15 New Images

Sunday, 29th October 2006

Disappointment and Astonshment In Derry

A few weeks ago I had planned to go to Derry to see the Megalithic Complex at Ballygroll, but I ended up going to see the bullauns at Brittas IV (County Wicklow) in Wicklow and climbing Keadeen (County Wicklow) instead. The weather forecast for the north was good for today so off I went. It was foggy for most of the journey: luckily this cleared by the time I reached Tyrone.

After some mixed luck looking for some standing stones and a ruined portal tomb I reached Ballygroll. There's a great mix of sites here: a court tomb, two wedge tombs, a cist & cairn, two stone circles and various other bits. Sadly only a small part of the complex is maintained and many of the monuments are undetectable, because the heather has been allowed to grow back over them.

The highlight of the day was when I decided to visit a site marked on the OS map as 'Stone Circles'. Often in Derry and Tyrone these are not very impressive, because the circle there tend to be of low stones and buried in peat. I was astonoshed at what I found here - a mini Beaghmore! This is one of those sites that really should be more widely known. I'm not sure of the townland yet, though.

The Rocking Stone - Killynaght (Co. Derry)Portal Tomb4 New Images
Sandville (Co. Derry)Portal Tomb1 New Image
Ballygroll Prehistoric Complex (Co. Derry)Megalithic Complex1 New Image
Ballygroll 1 (Co. Derry)Court Tomb4 New Images
Ballygroll 8 (Co. Derry)Stone Circle5 New Images
Ballygroll 9 (Co. Derry)Wedge Tomb3 New Images
Ballygroll 16 (Co. Derry)Wedge Tomb4 New Images
Ballygroll (Co. Derry)Standing Stone1 New Image
Ballygroll 7 (Co. Derry)Cist2 New Images
Aughlish (Co. Derry)Stone Circle12 New Images
Banagher (Co. Derry)Bullaun Stone1 New Image
Banagher (Co. Derry)Cross1 New Image
Banagher (Co. Derry)Church5 New Images
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