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


Stone Row / Alignment


A bit of a conundrum this one. Jack Roberts mentions a standing stone and boulder/'cromlech', but the Archaeological Inventory has a stone pair, one fallen. O'Nuallain doesn't include the site in his survey of Stone Rows.

If it is a stone pair then the northeastern stone would seem to have fallen in such a way as to send its base back up the slope, although it's possible that it may not originally have stood in line with the flat face of the southwestern stone. This standing stone is slab-like, arrow-tip shaped. The prostrate one is a thick, heavy bludgeon - the demise of older technology mimed in stone. Both stones are substantial, broad on the land.

Certain characteristics, beyond the obligatory NE-SW orientation, are shared with the other local stone pair at Knockawaddra; both sites are screened by a rise to the north - a short distance would have carried them to a position with extensive views in most directions; and both sites are situated on the north side of a tributary of the Argideen, on a line roughly adjacent to the run of the stream. If the row at Knocks really is a pair it would complete the set, to the north of the Argideen itself.

It could presumably be argued that if the rivers were a focus of the monuments, then any other positioning - with a greater view of near-by landscape features, would dilute the desired effect. However the rivers themselves are not visible from the monument platforms. Perhaps the pairs could have represented the water, when seen from above, or have been a destination to walk up to from the river below? The flat face of the standing stone here is aligned on an obvious 'u' on the southwestern horizon and may merit further investigation.

The site is located in the second field up, to the right of an old track-way extending straight from the newer road. This road splits at the joining point and permission to visit may be obtained by following the right-hand section, to the farmhouse at the end. Small bit of electric-fence vaulting but no major problems.

Roberts, 'Exploring West Cork', 1988; Ch.6 No.14; 134
Archaeological Inventory of Cork Vol. 1, 1992; No.200; 42

Just a slight addition here:
In relation to the blinkered aspect of the two rows, Fourwinds has suggested that a position on the crown of the hill, as opposed to the summit, would make them more visible to people living close-by and from below. To be seen, rather than to see. Tiompan takes a slightly different tack, moving away from considerations of vision, and suggests a 'protecting' effect in having the rim above, or that the pairs may have marked a boundary, delineated by the river below.
Thank you both very much.
gjrk Posted by gjrk
21st September 2008ce
Edited 6th October 2008ce

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