Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stone Circles of Boggeragh

The Boggereragh Mountains are a beautiful part of Co. Cork that few visitors visit.


They are north west of Cork city and south of an east to west line between Macroom and Millstreet. Within these mountains is one of the largest collection of megalithic stone circles in Ireland, along with hundreds of standing stones. ogham stones, portal cairns and wedge cairns.


Today, April 26th, was a perfect sunny day, warm and very clear. Views from every site we visited were stunning. The ambience all around here on a sunny day is heaven.


Our day commenced with an unscheduled stop at Gowlane, (OS map 80 W 485 855) 


GowlaneThis circle is quite hard to find and most of its stones are scattered but the entrance orthostats and alignment stone are very much in position. I forgot to bring my compass but this appears to be an equinox sunset circle.


Last time I was here it was overgrown, very boggy and surrounded by a bull with cows. This visit was very comfortable without any of these distractions


 


 


 Another unscheduled stop at Kilmartin Ogham Stones (OS map 80 W 453 813)


Kilmartin stonesWe could resist visiting these tall hillside stones, over 2M high each.


Listed as Ogham stones, their writing has long gone, but they are very impressive as they stand sentry beside a huge rath, image below.


  Kilmartin rath


 


Carrigagula Circle (OS map 79 W 372 838 )


Carigagula circleOne of my favourite stone circles in Ireland. Stones may seem small as they are largely buried by layers of peat. Despite that this is quite an untouched and untampered circle with all 16 original stones in place along with some kind of alter or ceremony stone in the middle.


On the edge of the Boggeragh Mountains the quiet ambience here is hard to match. Its about 20 minutes uphill walk to here, but truly worth the effort. Easy access and you’ll pass several standing stones on the track to here. Once here, you’ll want to stay awhile.


Carigagula entranceNice line of entrance stone, central alter stone and alignment stone.


 


 


 


 


St. John’s Well, Mushera (OS map 79 W 322 858)


St John'sNot a scheduled stop but we could not resist its dramatic lure on the side of the road. 


In the hole below the statue is a lively bubbling spring well with wonderful tasting mountain water. A nearby sign said this was a healing well for warts and in pre-Christian times was a site for a Festival of Light at midsummer.


By this well are a set of beautiful prayer stations built into stone cells rather than the usual crosses or stone slabs.


 


Knocknakilla Circle (OS map 79 W 298 842)


KnocknakillaCalled a stone circle but is a mish mash of three different structures, it seems.


There’s the remains of a 5 stone circle, common in these parts, a circle of what seems to be kerb stones of a small cairn and this massive 2.6M leaning stone, plus another fallen over, that seem as if they were once part of a very large circle.


Despite the confusing collection of stones you cannot help but feel at ease here. Along a very narrow lane with no houses for miles. Ambience is superb.


This has been the first time I have been here in sun. Previous visits have been in either foggy or drizzle conditions, though this is a very gothic place to be in the fog and mist.


 


 


 


Glantane East Circle & Wedge Cairn (OS map 79 W 283 840)


Glantane circleThis one’s worrying me.


Getting to here used to be well signposted, and when you arrived was greeted by a nice information board and style over the fence into the field. Now, most of the signposts have gone, information sign has gone, style has gone and there’s extra fencing. However, determined visitors have created large holes in the fencing.


A circle with missing stones with two huge standing stones just outside, one fallen and both about 3M high.


 


Glantane wedgeIn the next field is this wedge cairn, or is it a portal cairn?


This shot was taken from the field fence as we did not want to enter with the cattle present.


Somehow, I think this was connected to the Glantane complex. Did this all somehow create a huge court cairn complex?


 


Knockraheen Megalithic Complex (OS map 79 W 305 802)


KnockraheenAll sorts of things here, nice 5 stone circle, cairns, fulachtai fla and standing stone.


… but I like to come here to see these two quartz stone shine in the sun.


 


 


 


 


Cappeen Wedge Cairn and Standing Stone (OS map 79 W 315 790)


CappeenIt was a thrill to see this again. Last time I was here the entire dolmen was almost surrounded by gorse and covered by brambles. Someone has come along, cleared the lot and revealed a sturdy wedge cairn.


Seems like there’s been some celebration, though, as inside it was full of bottles from a party held inside.


Nearby is a small standing stone and entrance to this field is by a beautifully crafted stone steps style. 


 


 


Surrounded By Standing Stones  (OS map 79 W 263 720)


DonkeyArriving at our guest house, called Findus House, pronounced, “find us”, which was very, very apt …. all of the fields around seemed to have at least one standing stone.


This field also has two very curious small donkey foals.


This is one of them.

1 comment:

  1. Hello John, I'm was born a couple of miles from these boggeragh sites. I was up around your part of the country recently for the first time. It's a truly ancient landscape, can you tell me anything about the little site on the main road just before the turn off for mullach mór. There's a markedly strong energy there, both myself and the wife were amazed by it, it seems to be a place of popular devotion with ribbons and papers tied to a nearby tree.

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