Heading down the A2 from Ramsey to Laxey after a visit to Cashtal yn Ard our intention was to pay a visit to King Orry's Grave, and spotting a brown sign indicating that monument we took the right turn onto the B11 as directed.
The lane was narrow as it passed through the village of Ballaragh, but shortly Ellen spots the Spiral Stone at the side of the road, the green sign perched above it standing out like a beacon. Pulling into the side of the road, there really isn't anywhere proper to park, but the road is so quiet we risk leaving the car and head over to the stone.
Without the green sign to indicate its presence you would most likely never spot the stone, as it looks like nothing more than a boulder wedged into the fieldwall, and it's hard to know whether once this would have been a standing stone, or just a rocky outcrop that the Ancients decided to carve.
It takes a bit of spotting but soon we discern the shape of two spirals, and possibly also some cupmarks, towards the bottom of the stone. Trying to make them out with any clarity is difficult so I rumage in the car for any water to damp the stone and try to make photographing the spirals easier. After a libation of sacred lemonade (the only liquid I could find in the car!) things become clearer and I have a go at photographing the carvings. Two spirals are definitely still there, but the third one does now seem eroded to the point of occlusion. Still it's been nice to happen upon this stone at the side of the road, and so close to our intended destination!
Visited on 03-08-08 and the sprials were clearly visible. We parked up on the opposte side of the road and headed over to the Stone. The spirals were near instantly visible - although I was working from previous notes suggested the spirals were located towards the bottom of the Stone. Still, heartening to find the spirals still visible following debate in earlier notes as to whether they had been eroded entirely.
I visited again on 8th June 2004 and got some half-decent photos. I think an overcast day is best! The spirals do not seem to be as clear as they were several years ago, when I took my previous photos.
Please note this site is by the edge of the road, and not one and a half fields up the hill as the latest digitised footpath map shows!
Visited this site on 04.04.04: As there was no parking I was nominated to risk my life out on the road and check this one out. After having a good stare and a bit of a rub I couldn't make out or feel any spirals, so I took a couple of photos and ran back to the car to see if the others could make them out (no joy).
I would post my picture, but it looks the same as the ones above - without any spirals.
The last time I visited The Spiral Stone (October 2003) I couldn't see anything carved on it either, but I knew I had photographed it a few years previously, and now realise that the spiral carving is very low down on the stone. I think you also need the right sort of light. I have posted my photo of the spiral carving from several years ago so that you will know why the stone is so called!
Visited 24th August 2003: Sadly there are no spirals on this stone [or at least that's what I thought - see Captain Flint's post]. It rests in the hedge bank of the lane leading into the tiny village of Ballaragh from the north. I have no idea how it got its name.
The Spiral Stone is thought to be a Bronze Age standing stone. Presumably it's no longer in its original location. Parking is a bit tricky because the road is narrow, but anyone who's happy with viewing from the car won't get interrupted by much traffic.