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County Westmeath


<b>County Westmeath</b>Posted by Alan LeePortloman © Alan Lee
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Sites/groups in County Westmeath:

4 posts
Ballinlug Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art
5 posts
Ballycloghduff Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Ballymorin Bullaun Stone
2 posts
Balrath North Standing Stone / Menhir
Beggstown Standing Stone / Menhir
Calverstown Standing Stone / Menhir
3 posts
Cappaghjuan Standing Stone / Menhir
Cappanrush Standing Stone / Menhir
Clonaglin Round Barrow(s)
4 posts
Coolnahay Round Barrow(s)
Corbally Standing Stone / Menhir
Corgarve Round Barrow(s)
Drumraney Artificial Mound
Dunboden Park Round Barrow(s)
Garryduff Barrow Round Barrow(s)
Glomerstown Standing Stone / Menhir
1 post
Greenan Round Barrow(s)
7 posts
9 sites
Hill Of Uisneach
Kileen Standing Stone / Menhir
Knockdommy Round Barrow(s)
Lalistown Standing Stone / Menhir
Lilliput Standing Stone / Menhir
5 posts
Loughan Round Barrow(s)
Montrath Round Barrow(s)
Moyvoughly Round Barrow(s)
Mullenmeehan Round Barrow(s)
4 posts
Portloman Standing Stone / Menhir
3 posts
Portloman Round Barrow(s)
Rathskeagh Upper Round Barrow(s)
4 posts
Sarsfieldstown/Rathwire Upper Barrow / Cairn Cemetery
School Boy Crannog
Snimnagorta Standing Stone / Menhir
2 posts
St. Brigid's Well Sacred Well
Taghboyne Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Tuitestown Standing Stone / Menhir
Tullanisky Round Barrow(s)


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Bronze Age road in Midlands turned into potting compost

‘Scandal’ that oak road on Mayne Bog, dating to 1200-820 BC, not surveyed or preserved

The Midland bogs have always been places of mystery – vistas of burnt umber that every so often unearth prehistoric time capsules: vats of bog butter, golden hoards, the mummified remains of sacrificial corpses... continues...
ryaner Posted by ryaner
28th September 2015ce

Destruction of 3,000 year old bog road

http://irisharchaeology... continues...
tjj Posted by tjj
27th August 2015ce
Edited 27th August 2015ce

Latest posts for County Westmeath

Showing 1-10 of 77 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Rathnew — Fieldnotes

Rathnew is a large rath, with a deep embankment and fosse and a smaller, conjoined section about half its size on its western quarter. Not much remains of the houses that once stood here, but there is much of intrigue to make the megalithic adventurer happy.

In the western 'annex' is a circle of low stones, mostly embedded into the ground, some proud of the ground by about a maximum of 20 cms. It's about 5 metres in diameter with a standing stone at its centre. This stone is about three quarters of a metre tall and is a place for offerings, coins of varying worth on the day I visited. MacAllister notes it as a "dolmen-like stone". Like a few places on Uisneach that day, it had a magical air about it. It also must be pointed out that the ring is probably modern, as mentioned elsewhere and it doesn't appear in MacAllister and Praeger's plan.

The annex has two entrances, at the west and south. The defensive works here are impressive – an outer bank, a fosse (now darkened and alley-like under the covering trees) and an inner bank. The fosse continues onto the bigger part of the rath at the north, but starts to fill up fairly quickly in this sector.

Slightly north of east, there is an opening, with two seeming jambstones or gate stones. South of the entrance the fosse clears out again. Inside this large rath there are the remains of habitation structures, one of which MacAllister and Praeger excavated and left with quite an extensive plan. In its western sector, before it meets the annex, is a souterrain, now filled in and inaccessible. Pity.

This is a fascinating place, somewhere I'd like to explore in greater depth, and intend to do so now that I have the plans of the place.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
2nd July 2013ce

Aill na Mireann (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Aill na Mireann</b>Posted by Rhiannon Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th June 2013ce

Hill Of Uisneach — Fieldnotes

I arrived at the car parking spot at the southern foot of the Hill of Uisneach, not really knowing what to expect, wondering about access and trespass and all that. There's an official sign outside the entrance that lists some of the monuments on the hill. Past this and at the farm gate entrance is another sign saying that Uisneach is a working farm and that permission to enter the site may be gained by ringing 087 2576434. Please respect these wishes.

I called the number and got through to a voicemail, left a message about my intentions and headed in and up. Immediately in front of you as you ascend is an ancient trackway – to the left is the modern path/track – guess which one I took. Some way up this my phone rang – it was David Clarke, the landowner. I explained to him my interest and he readily gave me permission. I continued on my way, heading for what is marked on the OS map as two side-by-side raths, one of which I had read has a souterrain. The two raths are in fact conjoined, part of an intriguing, complex habitation and multi-period site. I have just today got a plan of the site from when McAllister and Praeger excavated the place back in the twenties. I will attempt to describe this site in its own individual fieldnotes, but this first time here I had only a cursory scout around the place. As I rooted around I spotted a 4 by 4 arrive over by a yurt-like structure and thought I'd better go over and introduce myself.

The driver was the landowner, the aforementioned David Clarke. After the usual pleasantries he showed me some of the monuments. He also gave me a flyer from last year's Festival of the Fires (cancelled this year to allow the farm and the archaeology to 'recover'). The flyer has a description and some folklore of some of the sites and a handy map with all the main monuments on it and a suggested walking tour. Before setting off on this i checked out some of the remaining artworks about the site. The Button Factory stage still stands but is showing signs of dilapidation – hilltop weather not being conducive to wooden structures.

I started my tour proper just by Lugh's Lough, so-called as legend has it this is where the harvest God Lugh (Lunasa) was drowned, before being interred in Lugh's tumulus, a barrow to the north-east. David said that the whole tour would take about an hour and a half. I guess that's for people with half an interest – I would suggest half a day at least to TMAers.

Just west of the lake are the remains of a cashel/dun. It's very overgrown back there, but the walls reminded me of the Clare cashels. Further west of here is the highest point of the hill with its cairn, unfortunately named St. Patrick's Bed. It's ruined and has a trig point plonked in its centre (ho hum). You can see landmarks in 22 of the counties of Ireland from here, allegedly.

South-west through two fields is the Cat Stone, Aill na Mireann (The Stone of Divisions). This is a huge crumbling glacial erratic, enclosed in its own henge. There is some doubt as to which came first, the stone or the henge – I haven't seen any excavation notes anywhere, but I seriously doubt that the stone was moved by anybody/thing but a glacier. This is the sacred omphalus of Ireland, the centre of the kingdom of Eriu, the heart of the mythical fifth province of Mide. Descending through the thorn trees in the field with their rag offerings towards the stone, the heavens opened up. I was able to shelter and remain completely dry in the hollow of the crumbling stone. I felt cocooned here, unfazed by the weather and utterly blissful. This is a special place.

As with all the monuments, I wished i could have stayed a bit longer, but there was still so much to see and I had to be in a friend's near here for dinner in a couple of hours.

I moved on over to Finnleascach's well, a natural spring at the base of another rath. I took a sup here, thirsty despite the rain. This is said to have once been enclosed by its own earthen bank. The water was steadily trickling, but given that I was on a working farm with plenty of livestock, I was a little unsure of it. The rath has quite a large, prostrate stone in its flattened interior. I believe that this may once have stood.

I moved on again, back up to what is described as the 'ancient palace', the conjoined ringforts. I scouted around there some more and then headed up the field to see if I could get a better view of it from higher ground. No such luck, but there was still Lugh's tumulus, over the wall in the next field. This is marked as a barrow, but it doesn't have any external ring or fosse. It rises to over 2 metres high, and the views to the east are extensive.

I was on the last leg of my visit to Uisneach and at this stage I didn't want to leave. I'm not a great vibes person, nor do I go in for the legendary stuff too much (though this is changing the more I find out). Uisneach still has me in its grip 5 days later. I can say that I was blown away by the place, but I can't tell you exactly why. None of the monuments, bar Aill na Mireann, are all that spectacular. Yet, the feeling remains that this is a special place, far more powerful and interesting than the more famous Tara.

David Clarke seems to understand what is in his care and is not ashamed to exploit it commercially – see the link to the Festival of the Fires website – but I got the sense from him that he's one of us, maybe not a TMAer, but someone who cares about these heritage sites and wants other people to care about them too.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
28th June 2013ce
Edited 14th August 2013ce

Hill Of Uisneach — Links

Festival of the Fires

Annual music and arts festival held at the Hill of Uisneach
ryaner Posted by ryaner
25th June 2013ce

Ballymorin (Bullaun Stone) — Fieldnotes

Sometimes you just go somewhere on a hunch, and as I passed the sign for Almoritia church on my way to Uisneach, I just had to turn off and have a look. That there is a Norman motte there was an added incentive.

The motte was a huge tree-covered monstrosity, impossible to photograph to any satisfaction, but weirdly impressive.

Through the church gates for a quick nose and what's that over there? A bullaun stone rests there, a metre long, with one deep basin that can hold only a little water as it breaks the inner side of the stone. What a charmer it is, like a lump of conglomerate cake, pushed to one side and usually ignored. Not today…
ryaner Posted by ryaner
25th June 2013ce

Loughan (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Westmeath was full of surprises today, and this was one of them. Just over the wall behind a memorial to local patriot and poet John K. Casey, is this really rather nice ring barrow. It's small but perfectly formed, as they say, almost perfectly circular, about 10 metres in diameter. What with the small turlough-like lake to its east, grass grazed about a month ago and the perfect height, the fosse not in the usual silted-up state and the mound not ploughed out, this was the best example I've seen so far of this type of monument. This part of Westmeath has these in abundance here just north of the Hill of Uisneach. ryaner Posted by ryaner
25th June 2013ce

Coolnahay (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Massive barrow in Coolnahy – I'd have liked to have spent more time here but I had another destination in mind and the bullocks in the distance had spotted me and were making moves my way.

I'm guessing about 30 metres diameter, internal fosse a metre and a half deep in places, mound still much in evidence and not ploughed out or eroded. It sits atop an enhanced natural platform and is a brilliant example of its kind, many of which litter (literally) the Westmeath landscape around here.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
24th June 2013ce
Edited 30th November 2013ce

Tuitestown (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Square profiled, pole-like standing stone visible from the road to Ballymahon from Mullingar. Packing stones visible at its base and I'd guess it's around 1.2 metres high. There's what looks like a cairn in the same field, about 100 metres away, with many other lumps and bumps around. An old church and cemetery are 200 metres south-west. ryaner Posted by ryaner
24th June 2013ce

Cappaghjuan (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Who'd have thunk it? Cappaghjuan, the tillage plot of Juan, in the middle of the Westmeath countryside. Surely the Juan must be some skewed anglicisation of a Sean. Anyway, a stone slab a little over a metre high, all alone in its field a couple of miles from Uisneach. ryaner Posted by ryaner
24th June 2013ce

Rathnew — Miscellaneous

Entry on the National Monuments database, interesting because it lists the monuments on the Hill of Uisneach (I believe there are more):

Description: One of a cluster of monuments situated on the Hill of Uisneach. Nearby monuments include a barrow (WM024-173----) 200m to the N, an earthwork (WM024-068) is 390m to the SE, an ancient road (WM024-067) runs onto the S side of the monument, a ringfort (WM024-063) and holy well (WM024-60) are located 390m to the SSW, an earthwork (WM024-065) is 290m to the W, a second earthwork (WM024-062) is 270m to the WNW, a pond (WM024-064002-) is 170m to the NW. The monument was described in 1963 as a 'large pair of conjoined ringforts, with hut-foundations (WM024-066002-) visible in the either part' (SMR file 1963). This ringfort was excavated in 1925-8 by R. A. S. Macalister, who believed that the larger ringfort was the mythological 'palace of Tuathal Techtmar'. On the 1837 edition of the OS 6-inch map the monument is depicted as a large circular ringfort with D-shaped annexe on the E side of the ringfort. On this map a 'Cave' or souterrain is annotated and depicted in the centre of the ringfort, the E quadrant of the ringfort interior has been divided into two small areas defined by earthen banks which run off the N & E side of a rectangular shaped platform located in the S quadrant of the ringfort. This rectangular platform appears to be the foundations of a hut site. A second possible hut site is depicted in the centre of the W annexe on the 1837 edition of the OS 6-inch map.

Compiled by: Caimin O'Brien
Date of upload: 26 January 2011
ryaner Posted by ryaner
24th June 2013ce
Showing 1-10 of 77 posts. Most recent first | Next 10