The bracken has died back once more or has been cleared, either way this was the best view of the site as I had ever seen. Not 'mown' or overgrown, just natural. I arrived well after dark and by the ample light of the near-full moon took around ten long exposures of the larger tomb before getting creeped out by the noises emanating from the barn behind and animals crawling though the undergrowth. This is a really great site.
Very sad to see this place completly overgrown again, only the capstone poking out of the undergrowth is visible as you pass. The side opposite from the road is better, slightly. I did find however that a camera monopod makes a good swiping implement for claring vegetaion, after 15 minutes you could see the whole of one side again but I was too tired then to even make a start at the more overgrown side where you cant even walk.
I really liked it here, the morning was still bright and the tombs still retain a lot of presence despite their state and overgrown surroundings next to a barn.
The capstone-less tomb would have been very nice in its original state, I think I would have liked it better than its larger mate. The larger tomb gives the impression that it was a 'throw it up and see if it sticks' affair, still very nice and a little eccentric.
Maybe a discrete word in someones ear might bring some sunshine back into these tombs existence.
The site at Ballyrenan has now been completely cleaned up. This was in no small part due to the approaches made by a ceratin prolific contirbutor to this site. The head gardener at the Baronscourt Estate had been instructed to clean it up about 2 weeks ago. The transformation is quite remarkable and it really does make you wonder why it was left to sit in almost complete obscutriy for the last 12 years (apparently the last time it was cleared). The site sits approx 10 metres from the road and is also bordered by a farm to the west. Access is extremely easy; a small stone wall, partly ruined and with a gap, allowing for access without having to climb anything. Apart from the complete transformation of this site, one thing that struck me was the almost unhindered views NNW - NNE, taking in the Sperrins. It almost feels like it was located with this in mind. To the East is Bessy Bell (Slieve Trim), which is primarily used for the timber industry, also owned and run by the local Estate. The gardener from the estate seems to be under the impression that there were originally 3 portal tombs here and that one was destroyed. There does appear to be many more stones under foot and lying in an almost random manner. There also appears to be a small long barrow (?) about 30 ft to the north of the stones, but located within the same enclosure. Probably nothing though somenone with more knowledge may be able to clarify this. For those who may have been disappointed with a vist in recent times, I would suggest returning. Will post some pics soon.
A local site about half a mile from my house. I made a foray up but most of the site is now considerably overgrown and difficult to get close to, due to a forest of nettles. Took some pics with my 35mm Olympus Trip but haven't got them developed yet. I'll check this out again. It's also part of the 'sales pitch' for the local estate I live on and a highly valued feature of the area.