Thursday, December 5, 2013
Corluddy Castle sometimes referred to as Grants Castle sits proud on a hill overlooking the river Suir.
This ivy covered five storey ruin is said to have the mortar that built it mixed with blood.
The castle dates back to the Norman period and was in the care of the Grant family until it was taken by Cromwell in the mid 16th Century.
Corluddy has a stone stair case which is intact for the most part (I could not check this out as the base inside the castle was like a quagmire).
Without doubt the best claim I came across about Corluddy is that an underground tunnel ran from here to the close by Grannagh Castle.
Access - The easiest way to the castle is from the main N24.
The roads after that are quite narrow and twisty.
The field the castle is in sometimes has cattle or horses in it.
The ground is very uneven and rocky in parts so mind your footing.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Ardmore is not alone home to this impressive complete Round Tower, but also this superb site has a Cathedral, an Oratory and two Ogham stones.
The round tower is just under 30 meters high and is thought to date back to the 12thCentury.
The four floored tower is made of sandstone and has a total of 7 windows, with the doorway just shy of four meters from ground level.
The cap of the tower is not the original - the replacement gives the tower looking like something that is about to take off from NASA.
St Declans Oratory (second last image on right) which gets its name from the 5thCentury saint is said to be the site of his grave.
The church which is said to be the oldest structure on the site was restored by the Bishop of Waterford Thomas Mills in 1716.
The Cathedral dated 12thCentury has on its west gable panels which depict some scenes from the bible.
Inside the cathedral you will find two Ogham stones located in sheltered spots protected from the elements.
Access - Because of the tower you will see this site well in advance.
It is well signposted from the N25 Dungarvan Youghal road.
The R673 will bring you right up to the tower.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The original ruin of Castle Hackett dates back to the 13th Century, most of the features to be seen today date from the 16th Century.
The Hackett family arrived with the Normans in the 15th Century and the O'Flahertys who were residents were forced to relocate to other lands close by in Connermara.
The upper two stories were added in the 16th Century and parts of that remodelling you can spot peaking out from the densely Ivy covered ruin today.
The castle was occupied until the beginning of the 17th Century and has been abandoned since.
Access - The ruin can be spotted from the R333, parking can be found just off a bad bend on your left coming from Tuam.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Ask anyone with an interest in portal tombs to name their top five favorite sites and I would be very surprised if the magnificent Kilclooney More Portal Tomb was not in that top five list - maybe even No 1.
The weather on the day of my visit was not great, but the walk to the tomb knowing I was going to get to see a site at the top of my wish list soon made me forget all about the showers and very soft going under foot.
This tomb like so many others changes so much as you walk around it and yet Kilclooney still has that little bit more.
The capstone is over 4 meters in length and is close to 4 in width the tomb rises to height of just under 2 meters, this all comes together with its shape and angle to make this site so special.
Just a handful of meters away (as you can see in some of the images and small image at the bottom) is a much smaller tomb.
It is claimed the small tombs capstone only became dislodged as recent as the early part of the 1900s.
The two tombs are thought to have once been part of the same cairn, to be very honest I am glad there is little left of the cairn as this makes the tombs really standout on the landscape.
Access if you park at the Dolmen Centre (make sure you call in and try their home made scones, that will be the second highlight of your day) located just off the R261, from there you are left with a 15 to 20 minute walk to the tomb which is visible from the road.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Located a very short distance from Dromatouk Stone Circle you can find Dromatouk Standing Stones.
There are three stones with the centre stone being the real eye catcher of the set.
The middle stone (rectangle in shape) is just under 2.5 meters in height and has an ogham inscription on its side.
The stones either side are much smaller with the one on the side of the circle looking like it has been moved at some stage.
To find the standing stones you follow the same route as the circle.
The stones are very visible on your right.
I have read in some posts that the field that contains the standing stones sometimes has cattle in it.
Like the circle, the time of the year (and weather) when you visit this site will probably determine how difficult your trek will be.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Lavallyconnor Castle is one of Galway's many castles, but perhaps not as well known as others.
The castle is four stories high but has been much altered down through the years.
The chimney serves a fireplace on the second floor.
The castle is pretty much featureless - the only other detail I could see were the battlements in the second image.
The name of Lavallyconor comes from the Irish Leathbaile Ui Chonchubhair the translation of which is "O’Conor’s half town".
The ruin is located on a working farm, the road to which takes you right by the farm house.
I was lucky enough to meet the farmers wife who gave me permission to get closer to the castle.
Access:- Lavallyconor is a few minutes drive from the R347, the roads are quite narrow but you will see the ruin well in advance.
When you click on the location it gives the site out as being in Parkbaun but it falls just on the side of Lavallyconor town land.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
When first spotted from the road my expectations for this circle left me in a rush to get up closer for a better look.
Sad to report this circle now has only 7 stones left standing and is pretty much a mess (see bottom image) !!.
Originally the 20 meter wide circle was thought to have 30 stones, in 1816 there were 12 stones still standing so recent times have really not been kind to this site.
Of what remains the tallest of the stones is around the 2 meter mark in height (from the 4 on the east side of the circle) the remaining 3 stones (on the west side) are smaller and are close to 1.5 meters in height.
Bocan stone circle will leave you disappointed due to the state of the site, but I would still recommend a visit for superb views. It would not take much imagination to visualize what a stunning site this once was.
Access:- You can see the main stones of the circle from the R238, parking will be anywhere you can find just off the main road.
From there you can reach the circle by climbing up to the top of a field, when you get to the top you can see the circle very well.
To get closer to the circle you will need to scale a new barbed wire fence.