|There are five little red dots, all within a kilometre of each other, marked on OS Sheet 62 in the Springfarm/Ballycapple/Ballykean area, 2 kilometres north of Redcross. They are, from north to south – T251863, T246860, T247857, T250855 and T251853.
T251863, T250855 and T251853 I didn't get to see, the latter two being on land belonging to a stud farm with high walls, and the former being the last I tried to find, giving up after a not very comprehensive search.
T246860, T247857 are in the same field, the former dug in at the edge of the bank surrounding the field, the latter in one of three mounds slung up in a field clearance. T246860 is the most promising but I'll deal with T247857 first.
The three mounds that are clearly visible from the road contain many interesting stones but none that I could say definitely had rock art. There was one in particular that had what looked like pick marks, but no discernible pattern. Also here was a phallic stone with glans, that may have once stood but is now flat on its back. The suspicion that I had here was that there had once been some sort of tomb or complex in this field, now wrecked, destroyed by the hunger for land. I don't know this for a fact, but gut instinct said that all was not as it seemed.
Proceeding on up to T246860 this instinct was reinforced. Strung along about 80 metres of the bank were again many interesting stones. Three in particular caught my eye – a larger granite boulder with a facing of the type so familiar from other sites but again, no definite art work; a stone, 1 metre long, with signs of wear by human hands that could be a basin stone or a sharpening stone; and the most definite worked stone and the clearest piece of rock art that I could find. This last was next to the large granite boulder and had a half metre serpent-like line carved in its top.
At last, some rock art… but hold on. Along this bank were many other stones, some quite flat and slab-like and embedded into the ground. And then there was the gaping hole where somebody had recently dug up one of these slabs. Did this contain the elusive rock art of Springfarm and somebody had legged it with it? Judging by the condition of this whole area, I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.
Posted by ryaner
16th July 2006ce
Edited 16th July 2006ce