Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kilkeel Portal Tomb (The Crawtree Stone)

Ever since seeing Kilkeel Portal Tomb on Jim Dempsey's great web site Megalithic Ireland it has been on my wish list. So making a slight detour on my way to work last week brought me to Kilkeel and this tomb did not disappoint.

The tomb as you first see it from the lane way looks like it is trying to escape and has got stuck on the banked wall.

The capstone is an impressive 2.5 meters in width and over 0.5 of a meter in depth.
The two portal stones are 1.3 meters in height and just under 1 meter in width.
The side slab stones are 1.5 meters in height and over 1 meter in length.

The stone at the front of the tomb and the newish looking boulder at the back do not belong to the original tomb.

Access - The tomb is just off the main street in Kilkeel, park in the Asda car park and walk up the lane way you will see the back of the tomb on your left.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Loher Stone Fort

Loher Stone Fort unlike the nearby Staigue Stone Fort is in fact an early Christian defended farmstead.
What you see today is the result of a recent reconstruction that when being carried out found the remains of farm buildings made of wood and later of stone.

In the interior circular house a souterrian entrance was found. This would have been used to hide when under attack and as a place for cool storage of foods.
The souterrian has been closed up since the restoration.

The walls are close to 3 meters in height and can be climbed from the interior via crossed stairways.
Unlike Staigue walking on top of the wall's is not a problem (once you have the head for height's).

Access - Loher is just a short drive from the N70 and is well signposted.
Parking is available for six or seven cars, unless someone goes sideways !
From there you are left with a short walk to the immaculately kept ground around and inside Loher.     
The views from Loher are nothing short of superb.
Mountains surround Loher on three sides with the fourth side giving you a great view of Ballinskelligs Bay where on a clear day you can see Skellig Michael in the distance.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ballyvongane Stone Row

This stone row of  Ballyvongane depending which web site you visit is either a stone alignment, standing stones or a stone pair.

As what looks like a third stone has fallen (shown in the images) I would go along with the description of the  site as what was once a stone alignment.

The two remaining standing stones are quite different from each other (and in truth do look a lot like a stone pair).
The more rounded stone is the larger of the two and is 1.7 meters high.
The smaller angled stone leans against the bigger stone and is 1.5 meters in height.

The alignment of the stones is NE - SW.

Access - The stones can be seen from the road.
There is a style gate into the field which leaves you a short walk to the site.

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.