A quick note here to say that these stones are in danger of disappearing off the radar altogether. I've never quite figured out why they are here in the first place, there being no ecclesiastical site nearby, and just the ogham stone up the road at Knickeen. But they are not looked after in any way, despite there being two stones of seeming great significance.
It's hard to say when the better time is to visit here - spring-time when the vegetation hasn't yet thrived but the ground is marshy and muddy or summer/autumn time, when the ground may have dried out a bit, but the plants have taken over.
My favourite of the lot, the one with six basins, is completely submerged – I guess I lucked out that day, 10 years ago when I first came across it. It is still a place that I will always stop by if I'm close.
There are 5 bullauns that I know of at Brittas – a single, two doubles (one of which is broken), one with five basins and one with six. We managed to find the fiver and sixer and the unbroken double. I know where the other two are but I couldn't be bothered to find them as the under- and over-growth was so dense.
I love the six-basined stone. It's one of the most graceful pieces of prehistoric sculpture that I've come across. It easily rivals the bullaun stone at Kilbeg. Every time I pass by here I have to see it, and yet it's in danger of being swallowed up by the earth that it springs from. The stone, like the five-basined "hand print of St Lawrence O'Toole" is earthfast. The nearby stream regularly fills the basins and silt builds up, giving damp-loving plants an ideal spot to take hold in. This could easily completely cover the stone in time as no-one seems to know they're here, let alone look after them.
I've checked the National Monuments Database and there are just two stones recorded here – the broken double and the five-basined stone. The last site visit here was in November 2012 and there would be less vegetation at that time so I'm wondering how they missed the other three. Oh well, maybe somebody will notice this in time.
It's hard not to stop by here when I'm in the vicinity. Late August is probably not the best time of year though, what with all the summer growth. The track to the main 2 bullauns is worn, but not hugely; somebody visits these powerful stones now and again. These 2 could easily get overgrown and 'lost'.
Finding the double and the single in the forestry plantation to the east is a challenge. Head high heather blocks you. The fifth one, a double, broken through its larger basin, is moss-covered; there's also grass coming up through the fracture.
If the little cottage beside this place ever came up for sale…
I searched high and low for the bullaun that's marked on the OS map at S977949 but to no avail. I was about to give up when I noticed a beaten track leading from the forestry entrance where I had parked. I followed this and it led me out of the forestry and into the field where the bullaun is marked. Continuing along this I crossed the stream and BAM, Brittas 4 with its four single and one double bullaun was there in front of me. I can safely say that this came as a total shock and a surprise to me. Continuing further up the track about 10 metres further on is Brittas 3 with its four bullauns.
Both of these stones are earthfast. They sit there for all the world like magical vessels as the small brook bubbles nearby. Seems there's a lot more to this place than what first meets the eye. According to the Arch. Inventory of Co. Wicklow there's "a large, earthfast granite boulder with four basins…" which I take to be what I have called Brittas 3. With the two that Fourwinds has added, thats four bullauns with 50 metres of each other. Awesome!