Thursday, November 8, 2018

Goward Portal Tomb

Goward Portal Tomb is also known locally as Big Pat Kearney's stone.
The tombs massive capstone is without doubt the stand out feature of this must see site.

Said to weigh 50 ton this capstone has slipped and now rests on two taller stones.
The capstone is 4 meters long by 3 meters in width and over 1.5 meters in depth.

The tombs chamber is over 2.5 meters in length.

Goward is located in it's own neat enclosure and is the sort of site that makes you want to spend some time when you visit.

Access -  The tomb is just off the main Hilltown to Castlewellan road and has a couple of spots for parking close to the site.

Along with the other great tombs of County Down, Goward is not to be missed.      

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Kinneigh Round Tower

One of only two round towers to be found in County Cork is Kinneigh Round Tower.

The round tower is built on a large rocky outcrop, and has a unique 5 meter high hexagonal base.

The tower rises to a height of 20 meters and is round from the hexagonal section up.

The doorway is about 4 meters above the ground and faces North East.

Kinneigh Round Tower is estimated to have been built sometime between 900 and 1050.

To facilitate a bell an upper section was added in the mid 19th century.

The original  monastery in the area is said to have been founded by St Mocholmog in the year 619.

The site of the monastery was located 0.8 km to the West of the tower.

Access - The tower is located on the grounds of St Bartholomew's Church Of Ireland, in Kinneigh.

Parking can be found beside the graveyard.  This leaves you a short walk to the very striking tower.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Ballyvackey Stone Circle

Ballyvackey Stone Circle is located in a plain low flat open pasture.

There are just seven stones left here from a probable original nine stones, although some believe there may have been as many as thirteen stones in the circle.

The remaining circles stones vary in height from 0.6m to 1.6 meter.

The circle is aligned ENE-WSW and the diameter of the circle 8.5 meters.   

There are much bigger and more famous sites located close by.
Despite being overgrown (I tried my best to stamp the growth down around the stones) don't be put off seeking this site as it will be well worth you time.
The circle even with the missing stones and somewhat plain location still has a nice presence about it.

Access - The site can be spotted from the main road. (R599)
It will be possible to park close to the circle (once one is careful).
Good footwear will be needed as the area close to the circle is quite marshy. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Carrigaphooca Castle

Carrigaphooca Castle is a ruined five storey rectangular tower house situated on a steep rocky outcrop overlooking the Sullane River near Macroom in Co Cork.
The building is basic, one with a single room on each of it's five levels.
There are no fireplaces or chimneys. 

The visually striking ruin (from the outside) is dated sometime between 1436 and 1451.

The castle was built by Dermot Mor McCarthy brother of Cormac Láidir who built Blarney Castle.

The MacCarthys of Carrigaphooca sided with the Crown in 1602 and their stronghold was as a result attacked by Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare.
After a long and difficult siege the huge wooden door of the castle was burned down.
O'Sullivan Beare was said to have taken back a chest of Spanish gold he had presented to the MacCarthys some months earlier for their support against the English.

The castle was latterly owned by the MacCarthys of Drishane until it was forfeited in 1690.

Restoration work was carried out on the castle in 1970 by the OPW who installed an inner staircase.

Access - The castle is on farm land and can have cattle grazing at times, so please seek permission from the farm between the main road (N22) and the castle.

Carrigaphooca Castle is claimed to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cunard Portal Tomb

Cunard Portal Tomb is one of Dublin's lesser know tombs - this is probably due to the fact that the site does not appear on the current OSI maps.

The small but compact tomb is 1.6 metres in height.  
The portal stones are missing and just three chamber wall stones remain.
The capstone is 2.2 metres and diamond shaped. 

The setting for this site is nothing short of stunning and although it is close to the road getting up close is not so easy.

For visiting you will have two main problems:-
1. You can't see the tomb from the road (trust my map it will bring you close enough to see it-click on the location tab).
2. The terrain, even after a dry spell and on a very hot day was still saturated in parts (also do not wear shorts as the mountain is covered in low gorse).

Access - The road is very narrow so it is important to park carefully. As I have already mentioned, click on the location tab underneath the images and you will find it.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Grangefertagh Round Tower

Grangefertagh Round Tower is the only remnant of an early monastery founded by St Ciaran of Seir. The original site is thought to date back to the 6th Century.

The site was raided by Vikings in 861 and in 1156 the High King Murtagh McNeale burned the tower.

The tower is 31 meters in height and that is with only a small part of the towers cap remaining.
The diameter of the tower is 4.8 meters.
Their are nine windows in total, six of which are angle headed & the remaining three are lintelled.

The doorway is 3.3 meters from ground level and as you can see in image 3 has had all of it's stone work removed.
This is said to have occurred when a farmer took the stones to help in the building of a fireplace!

The church is dated 13th Century and has had it's main section turned into a handball alley.

In one small section of the church is the tomb of Brian MacGiolla Phadraigh Lord of Ossory.

Access - The tower is very visible from the M8.
Parking can be found in a couple of spots close to the site. 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb

The world famous Burren County Clare has many fantastic sites but none more so than the stunning Poulnabrone Portal Tomb.

This tomb could probably lay claim to being the most photographed megalithic in Ireland.
The early morning of my visit (which was quite dull) saw two small buses and a couple of cars in the big spacious car park beside the site.

The tomb is perfectly set on a low circular mound of loose stones with the entrance to the tomb facing north.

The large thin capstone is close to 3.6 meters in length and 2.1 meters in width.
The portal stones are in and around 1.8 meters high.

Poulnabrone was excavated in 1986 and again in 1988.
The remains of 22 individuals which included adults children and infants were discovered.
The remains and other artifacts discovered allowed the tomb to be dated to approximately 3600 BC.

Access - The site is well signposted and has a large car park just off the R480.