|A five minute drive from my house brought me to another of my 'local' tombs. I'm continually blown away by what lurks in them there hills.
The name Mount Venus Road always brought much juvenile mirth to me and my friends when we woz kids. It has a quite well-known modern cemetery, but from now on I'll know it for the far more interesting and immense portal tomb that lies ruined and hidden behind the hedges and brambles. The 2nd biggest/heaviest capstone in Ireland after Browne's Hill, they say. And they also say that Browne's Hill is the biggest in Europe. So what does that make this? (Something I've noticed is a certain competitive streak that runs through a lot of megaltihic discourse. I've even checked where I am in TMA's list of contributors.)
This was not as easy to get to as I first imagined. We had to 'trespass' onto the DSPCA's ground, climb a barbed-wire fence and struggled through brambles and nettles, but was it worth it!! The capstone is held at a 45 degree angle by the one remaining upright. It seems that this is collapsing under the huge weight and will eventually fall. What a pity. Investigating around the tomb was difficult with all the growth but we came across a 2 metre stone laid flat that may have been one of the supporting stones. As is the case with some of the places I see in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, this site could be in danger of being privately developed. Housing is creeping ever so slowly, but surely, up here (I live at the foot of Montpelier myself) and it seems with a lot of this that as long as there's money to be made, no-one gives a shit.
Unknowingly, I picked a perfect example of this for our second visit. Brehon's Chair portal tomb is on a private, gated housing estate under the M50 bridge behind Marlay Park. We waited for someone to leave (in her 4x4 beemer, natch) and headed in. What remains of the tomb only provoked in me the one question – where's the rest of it? I couldn't really get in to this place. The 3 remaining stones are lovely but some shithead had used the little chamber-like area to dump his builders crap. I sniffed around the estate and saw some lovely stones used as supports for the raised front gardens of the houses. Overall I felt down here. Modern Ireland, with the odious M50, butted up against ancient Ireland a little too uncomfortably for me. I'm off up Seefin at the earliest opportunity. They won't get me there!!!!!
Posted by ryaner
30th May 2006ce
Edited 17th September 2006ce
ryaner's TMA Blog
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