Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cloonboo Castle

Cloonboo Castle can be found in the parish of Annaghdown.
The castle is said to have been one of many built by the Skerrett family in the local area.
The town land that Cloonboo stands in is called Castle quarter (which seems pretty appropriate).

The castle (thought to be 15th Century) is four stories high and has a partial spiral staircase on the mostly ivy covered north side.
This side also has a entrance to the castle ( where signs are located warning you to stay out of the dangerous ruin).
While I stood at the doorway looking inside the castle a horse walked in by me, it would seem the castle now acts as a stable for the two horses in the field that surrounds the castle.

Access - The castle can be seen from the N84 Headford to Galway road.
Parking is not a problem. You can park quite close to the castle - at the entrance to Abbey Signs buisness.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Kilcoona Round Tower

Kilcoona derives it's name from the saint Cuana who founded a monastery on this site in the 7th Century.
Saint Cuana is noted as one of the ancient Irish writers.  "The Annals Of Cuana" are attributed to him.

The round tower is dated from the 12th Century.
The tower is 3 meters high.
The most striking feature of the tower are the massive blocks of dressed limestone.
Some of these stones have been cut into each other.
The tower as you find it today is half overgrown and nearly filled to the tip with rubble.

Access - The tower is located in the beautiful kept graveyard of Kilcoona village.
Parking is not a problem.
Galway has bigger and more famous towers but Kilcoona is well worth seeing for the unusual stonework and well kept graveyard.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Glantane East Stone Circle

The stone circle of Glantane East is one of two such named circle's.
The other circle by the same name is said to be harder to find as it located amongst a group of trees.

This circle consists of six stones that are still standing.
The circle may once have had between eleven and thirteen stones.
The diameter of the circle is close to 4.5 meters.

There are two large pillar stones which were resurrected as recent as 1994 by the
Office of Public Works - one of these has fallen since then.
The upright pillar is close to 4 meters with the fallen one 3 meters in length.

Access - The circle can be seen from the road despite the field it is in being banked.
Once you have negotiated the electric fence you are left with a short walk to the site.

I have read Glantane East described elsewhere as a mess, this I find harsh as this site still has presence.
You also have the bonus of a tomb quite close by.          

Friday, September 5, 2014

Barnaderg Castle

The name Barnaderg comes from the Irish Bearna Dhearg meaning "red gap"
The castle dates back to the 16thCentury and is claimed to have been one of the last castles built in Ireland.
Built by Malachy O'Kelly, Barnaderg and the surrounding areas were known to be a stronghold of the O'Kelly clan.

The castle is said at one time to have had a draw bridge, seeing how saturated the land around the ruin can be most of the year it is pretty easy to visualize how this would have looked.

Access - The castle is located just outside the village of Barnaderg on the R332, parking can be found roadside.
Apart from the mostly flooded fields, cattle would seem to be a regular feature in and around the site.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eightercua Stone Row

Eightercua is without doubt my favourite stone row in Ireland.
Ireland may have bigger stone rows with more standing stones in them but the buzz that I have got both times when coming around the final bend on the N70 and seeing Eightercua is like spotting four really good friends that have been waiting for you.

This was a revisit to this site as when I first saw Eightercua it was a pretty dire day weather wise.
This visit was only a partial success as the site was undergoing what looked to be a pretty extensive dig that as you can see from the images it has come right up to the stones.

The stone row is about 7.5 meters in length.
The tallest of the stones is close to 3 meters in height with the smallest of the stones just over 2 meters in height.

At the base of the stones is what looks like a wall which has led some to think that the stones were part of a large chamber.
The enclosure that comes out from the stones is very visible and is about 15 meters in diameter.

Access - Eightercua can be seen from both ways on the N70. Parking is a problem as the lane ways around the site are very narrow and most of the property's close by are lived in.
So be careful you don't block someone in.   


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dunmore Castle

The impressive Dunmore Castle sits on a small hillock partially surrounded by large trees almost keeping it hidden from the main road.

The first castle on this site was built by the de Birmingham family in the 13th Century.
Dunmore was attacked and burned by the O' Connors in 1249.
The castle came under attack again in 1284 from the forces of Fichra O' Flynn.
In 1315 Dunmore was once again in conflict with Rory O'Connor.

The castle was re built in the early 14th century and a lot of what is visible today dates from this time.
An additional 2 floors were built on in the 16th Century.

What you can see today is five stories high.
A ground floor entrance (the original was on the second floor) brings you inside to the empty shell of a ruin.

Access - The castle is located a short drive from the village of Dunmore (R328), parking can be found roadside within walking distance. 


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Staigue Stone Fort

Staigue Stone Fort is another of County Kerry's historical gems.
The fort can be found just off the main Sneem Waterville road, about 8 kilometres from Sneem.

The Stone Fort sits between rugged hills, with the view to the south opening up to Kenmare bay.

The forts walls are 5.5 meters in height and 4 meters thick at the base.
The diameter of the interior is over 27 meters. The inside has two small oval chambers 2 meters in height.
The entrance is under 2 meters in height, the passage is roofed with large double lintels.

The walls can be climbed via a series of crossed steps, you are asked not to walk along the top of the fort (but this seemed to be ignored by the majority on my visit).

The exact dating of the fort is unknown. It is thought to have been built pre St Patrick.
Doctor Peter Harbison ( never leave home without his "Guide to National and Historic Monuments of Ireland") suggests it may even date as far back as the first Century.

Access - The fort is well signposted from the main road, parking is available for several cars.