'Grange Lios' : Stone Circle

TownlandLough Gur
CountyLimerick
Grid RefR 633 404
GPSR 63261 40410 (3m)
Longitude8° 32' 28.39" W
Latitude52° 30' 50.11" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBruff (4 Km)
OS Sheet65
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

This site has subsites

Lough Gur - Circle C - Loughgur - Stone CircleThe Stone Of The Tree - Lough Gur - Standing Stone
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 28th April 2002

So much has been written about this great embanked circle and rightly so. For one thing it is Irelandís largest stone circle and the key site in an area rich in megalithic monuments and Neolithic activity.

The circle itself is some 55-60m in diameter and is surrounded by a 4m deep, 2m high bank. To the east is the much photographed entrance passage that cuts through the embankment which allows the Lughnasa sun to shine upon the two horned stones opposite as it rises. The last time that this phenomenon was observed was 1989, when it was featured in the local newspaper. The farmer who now looks after the land surrounding this amazing wealth of sites did have some postcards made up of this moment but has sadly sold out of them now. He also sells a small but very informative booklet on the whole Lough Gur area written by OíKelly who excavated the site in 1939. The fence surrounding and protecting the circle was erected at Timís own expense and so he does ask for a 2 euro contribution from adults visiting the site. Please do respect this if he is not around so that the site can continue to be kept tidy for us all to enjoy.

Just to the north of the entrance, around the circle, are a pair of very unusual stones. The largest one, actually the largest stone in the circle at 20 tons, is known as ëRannach Croim Duibhí or the Crom Dubh stone. Next to this huge stone stands a small stack of stones. This is thought to represent the Eithne, the corn child and concubine of the god Crom Dubh. It is said that the whole embanked enclosure was created by Crom Dubh when he dragged his two pronged spear around himself.

My visit here was somewhat disturbed by very indecisive weather, one minute the sun was shining and the next it was raining or hailing. All the while it was blowing a ferocious wind that cut to the bone. However, the sense of scale and power of this massive monument was able to break through this and impose itself upon us. This circle is a definite ëmust seeí site for anyone, but remember to check out all the other great places in the area.

I do recommend that any visitor should read the very good section in Mythic Ireland by Michael Dames on the Lough Gur area before coming.

Sunday, 5th July 2009

I arrived first, but didn't have this enormous monument to myself. A group of calves were lazing around in the centre of the circle and weren't moving for anyone. Andy, then Derek and finally Gordon soon arrived and the day trip started with much banter. Then we got on with what we'd met up for ... seeing some stones.

You can't help but marvel at the size of this monument: it's massive, but for some reason it seems a little sterile. Perhaps it's because you know that the road is only a few metres away. I don't know. You do feel that you're in the middle of somewhere very special, though.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Site Plans

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Directions

From Bruff take the R512 north. 1km past the first crossroads you go through you will see a little car park on the right and a sign pointing to the circle.

Miscellanea

The wonderful entrance is aligned to the Lugnasa (= 1st August = harvest time) sunrise and the sun falls on the mighty horn stones opposite. Many ox bones were found here on excavation. This is thought to be associated with the 'Ox Horn New Moon' worship and could be related to the Spanish bull cults.

The center of the circle is composed of tightly packed yellow clay. Again, on excavation a new-moon crescent was found made of packed stones extending to the south from the Horn Stones and another packed stone figure of a two pronged staff lay off center in the circle - a representation of the staff of Crom Dubh.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Stone Circles

External Links

Lough Gur

A website dedicated to the area around Lough Gur, with information on some of the monuments in the area. The website also has information on local accomodation and pubs. Very useful!
Click here to visit this site

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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