Friday, April 22, 2016

Cloyne Round Tower








The site at Cloynes dates back to the 6th Century when a monastery was founded by
St Colman Mac Lenine.

The tower which is said to be 10th Century is composed of a dark purplish sandstone and rises to a height of just over 30 meters.
The doorway is close to 3.5 meters from the base, which is built on a offset but this was not visible on my visit (image 4). 
The tower has a total of 9 windows 7 of which are lintelled, the windows on the 3rd and 5th floor are both angled.

The tower was struck by lightning in 1749 but the cap was gone by then and the battlements you see today were in place.

In recent years it was possible to climb to the top of the tower, but this is no longer allowed due to maintenance and insurance issues.   

Access -
Travelling on the N25 Cork to Midleton road you will see a turn for Cloyne R629, this bring you directly onto the appropriately named Church St.

The tower is opposite St Colman's Church of Ireland Cathedral.
Parking can be found close to the tower quite easy.   


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Coulagh Stone Circle





The Stone Circle of Coulagh is being kind to the site a bit of a mess.
Only two stone remain standing (both leaning quite strongly).

Because of the other stones in close proximity it is pretty hard to picture the circle in it's original form.
Is it a five stone recumbent circle or maybe the circle was even bigger, could the two standing stones be portal stones to the original circle.

I wish that I could give you a better idea of this site but probably we are best going with Jack Roberts who is pretty sure the site is a true 5 stone circle.

The site is worth a visit, but the area has many other stunning sites to offer like Ardgroom.

Access -  The R575 will bring you to the turn off for the site, the lane way is very narrow and the stones will be on your left two or so fields up. 

 


    

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Carrigadrohid Castle





This very striking ruin is built on a rocky outcrop and has the river Lee flowing by.

Carrigadrohid is said (disputed by some) to have been built in the 15th century by the MacCarthys of Muskerry.

The castle is a three story tower.
It has a second story entrance via the bridge on the eastern wall of the ruin.

The Castle was besieged by Parliamentary forces in 1650.
Bishop MacEgan (Bishop of Ross) who had been captured by Cromwell's General was promised his freedom if he could persuade the garrison of Carrigadrohid Castle to surrender.
The Bishop is said to have urged the garrison to fight till the end, and told the men "to hold out to the last for religion and Country".
The Bishop was hanged from a nearby tree with the reigns of his own horse in view of the castle.

Carrigadrohid later passed into the ownership of the Bowen family who occupied it until it was abandoned in the mid 18th Century.

Access - Parking can be found close to the castle and if the weather is nicer than on my visit there is a picnic area right beside the river bank.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cashelkeelty Stone Circles & Stone Row.








Getting to this site requires a good bit of effort and quite a bit of spare time.
For making the trip you will be rewarded with two stone circle's, a stone alignment and superb striking scenery surrounding you.

Cashelkeelty South East  (images 1-3)
The first part of this site was a five stone, stone circle (only three still stand).
With the two portal stones missing the axial stone is the biggest of the three - 1.5 meters in length and 0.5m in height.
The two side stones are slightly taller than the axial stone at 0.7m but shorter in length at 0.8m.
The diameter of the circle is close to 2 meters.
This site was excavated in the 1970's.

Beside this circle is a three stone row over 6 meters in length  (images 2-3).
It is thought that this alignment may have had four stones originally. 
The tallest of the stones is close to 3 meters in height.

Cashelkeelty North West  (images 4-6)
This circle is said to have had twelve stones originally but only three remain standing, with a fourth fallen very close to the standing ones.
The tallest of the three stones is close to 2.5 meters in height. 

Access - As mentioned getting to these sites will take a bit of time, parking can be found just off the R571 (after you pass through Lauragh). The site is signposted on the main road.
Climbing over a small stile the walk will bring you up through a forest via a nice waterfall.
Reaching the top of the trees you will climb over another stile and turn right (again signposted).
This starts another climb along a good pathway but a steep one (this part of the walk forms part of the stunning Beara way.
After a climb that seems to be not ending any time soon the South East circle comes into view with the North West circle just a bit further on.   
  

   

Friday, January 15, 2016

Roscrea Round Tower








St Cronan founded the monastery in Roscrea in the late 6th Century (He died in the early part of the 7th Century).
The site was chosen as it formed part of the ancient route between Tara and Cashel.  
The tower dates from the 11th Century.
It is 20 meters high and made from sandstone.
The plain doorway is close to 2.5 meters from ground level.
The tower also has 3 windows.
The earliest mention of the round tower is when it was struck by lightning in 1131.

Across a very busy main road - but not early on a Sunday morning is the Romanesque 12th Century St Cronan's church (image 4).
What you can see in the picture is sadly all that is left of what must have been a stunning site.

Access - The tower and church are right beside the old Dublin to Roscrea main road (N62) just before you enter the town.
Parking can be found pretty easy within walking distance.     


 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

An Seisear Stone Row / Alignment







This superb sites name translates to mean "The Six" but as you can see one of these giants has fallen. The five that remain are nothing short of breath taking. The sheer size and shape of these stones is just stunning.

The alignment is over 11 meters in length.
The 2 biggest stones are located at each end and both are close to the 3 meter mark in height.
The inner stones are an equally impressive 2 meters in height.

The setting for this site is slightly spoiled by the closeness of a plantation of trees quite close to the stones.

Access - The alignment can be seen from the Bweeng/Coachford road (R619).
Parking can be found close to the entrance gate into the field.
From the road the site looks quite small but as you walk up the field and near the stones you begin to realise how impressive and special this alignment is.    

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Moyry Castle






The very striking ruin of Moyry Castle is a must see if you find yourself visiting any of the many sites in County Armagh.
The castle was built by Lord Mountjoy in 1601.
The castle had great importance as it was built to help oversee and secure the ancient route between Leinster and Ulster.

Among the features of the castle are rounded corners, many gun loops and a drop hole positioned above the doorway.
The walls of the castle are over a meter in thickness with the only remaining part of the outer wall close to 3 meters in height.

The inner of the castle is a shell with no sign of a stairway.

Access - The castle is very visible as a result of being built on a hill.
Parking can be a bit tricky as the surrounding roads are quite narrow.