The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Colvinstown Upper



There are 3 cairns marked on OS sheet 62 at Colvinstown Upper. The Arch. Inventory of Co. Wicklow says they are all on a steep NW facing slope of the hill. Well, one is and the other 2 are more west-south-west. The largest and best preserved (the main one of this site) was not located by the inventory people back in 1989 due to heavy forestation. No more. The forestry have been at their task and in the process have made an unholy mess, practically destroying the 2 lesser cairns. They are a shambles and a disgrace. Would they do the same to Kilranelagh graveyard at the western foot of the hill?
We approached the scene of devastation from the tracks on the northern side of the hill, after spending a while at Boleycarrigeen stone circle. We circled around to the south first and spotted the main cairn up above the gorse line. It's a long cairn, about 25 metres on it's longer axis. It looks to have been robbed out quite some time ago, with some of the structural stones of its burial cist visible in a depression on its eastern side.
The views from here to the flat plain to the south and over west to the Pinnacle on Baltinglass Hill are lovely. I couldn't help wondering at the significance of the placing of all 3 cairns, with the passage grave cemetery on Baltinglass Hill such a prominent visual feature.
The other 2 cairns are now a shadow of their former past. The most southerly and easterly, Colvinstown Upper III, may not last much longer. It's a flattened dumping ground. Colvinstown Upper II shows some remains of its burial cist, but the forestry made a grievious error years back when they decided to plant pine trees in the mound.
All the forestry hereabouts has been cleared recently, and though not all the damage to these cairns is of a recent vintage, major damage has been caused in the last year due, I'd guess, to a callous indifference and an ignorance of our ancient past. This even goes so far as planting new trees on each of the 3 cairns.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
24th April 2007ce

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