|Every once in a while you come across a place that puts your head in a spin and in all the confusion you just want to laugh. This is a very odd place. Very, very odd. After seeing a handful of pics in a picture library of a stone circle with some unusual looking arrangements around it, there was nothing else to be done only track this strange place down and see it for myself.
First of all it was only discovered when the site was being cleared to lay down gardens after the land had been purchased for development into a park. It has since been cleaned up and restored to an unknown extent. It now forms part of a walking trail around Millstreet Country Park, situated below and in sight of Knocknakilla Hill and its more famous stone circles.
The park has a visitor centre, restaurant, gardens, water courses complete with jumping salmon, wandering deer and this magnificent Bronze Age site.
When you first see it after a 15 minute walk from the visitor centre, the first thing that springs to mind is how well preserved the medium sized circle with its sub-two foot stones is. Then you cant help wondering about the intriguing arrangements of stones surrounding it. Then you read the information board and find out that the 'circle' is in fact that curious arrangement of slabs that looks like it cant decide whether its a ruined portal or wedge tomb. When complete this must have looked more like a five stone rectangle. The portals are set radially and the remaining side stone, its cropped opposite partner and the axial form a neat box.
The stone still standing (barely) are over almost four foot tall and a pile of left overs lie to one side.
The radial circle is an almost perfect circle that could have been transplanted from Beaghmore in Tyrone, it is similar in size to the smaller circles there but obviously the radial setting of the stones make this pretty unique. Near the center is a fallen stone about three foot long. To the North West is a fallen three stone row, to the south west of this row are two more prostrate long stones. To the south east of the circle is a five foot outlier almost fallen into the circle itself. Other stones jut out of the grass aroundabout.
This is a fascinating place, full of oddities and mysteries (not least why its still almost unknown). The park can easily fill a full day on its own but you could spend most of it here at this strange complex.
Posted by CianMcLiam
24th May 2006ce