This stone is situated about 100 yards from Picketts Cross. Tradition says that a tailor living here was ordered by a giant to make a suit of clothes for him in a certain time. When the giant came for the clothes the tailor had not them ready, and the giant was so angry that he threw this stone at the tailor and buried him under it. The marks of the giant's fingers are to be seen on the stone.
This story from Patrick Walshe in the 1930s is part of the Schools Collection that is presently being digitised at duchas.ie.
There is a cromlech at Knockeen which consists of eight large stones. The largest stone weighs four tons. There are six supporting stones and two covering stones. Some people call it the "Druid's Altar". It is said that the women carried the stones in their aprons to make the cromlech. Some people say that a giant who was passing by one day took a bite out of Sugarloaf Hill, and the cromlech is made of the crumbs he dropped.
There is a liss in Mr. G. Coghlan's land in the townland of Ballynaraha, Lismore, Co. Waterford. There is another in Mr O'Donnells land in the townland of Deerpark, Lismore, Co. Waterford. Both lisses are in view of one another.
There is an archway in the front with a fence all around partly built of stones. The entrance is closed; no one ever explored them.
A large quantity of tobacco and some gold was found in Deerpark liss. The Danes built the lisses for hiding places; they had them for escapes during the war. The Danes had the lisses first and then it was thought the fairies were there.
It was thought Mr Coghlan ploughed the field that the liss was in, and all the cattle that were in the field died, and all crops failed until he turned back the sods again, and from that day no cattle died. Music was heard from the liss and you could hear the fairies kicking the football.
In a field in Deerpark, Lismore, Co. Waterford there is a Fairy Fort, and about a mile away from it, there is another. It is said that there is an underground tunnel running between them. Around one there is a fence of earth and stones and a gap left for an entrance. Nobody ever went in to explore it. The fence of the other fort was knocked down and ever since, whatever crop is planted in the field nothing grows where the fence was. It is said that music was heard and lights were seen in the forts. Wild cats were also seen in their neighbourhood.
Another fort was situated on Camphurie Hill on the farm of Michael O'Donnell but it was rooted some time ago.
It is said that forts were built by the fairies who lived in them. Fairies were very small people who carried purses, each of which when opened would contain a shilling. A man once saw a fairy and asked him for his purse. The fairy asked what the man behind him wanted. On turning the foolish man saw nobody but when he turned to the fairy he had disappeared.
Harristown has changed a bit since I was last here, 5 and a half years ago. New restrictive barbed wire was in place blocking access, and the sign with the phone number urging you to call and ask for permission to visit the site was gone. We were in Waterford city for a short while and had some spare time so I thought I'd show an enthusiastic friend one of Ireland's little gems. Arriving and finding the new disposition didn't put us off and soon we were kicking back, basking in the sunshine and pondering our ancestral past.
Last time I was here much of the views were blocked by late morning mist. Not today – the tomb builders certainly picked their spot, slightly back from the end of a north-south ridge, views to the distance for almost 300 degrees. And I'd say equal that onto the tomb from all around. We thought from up here of the families that were involved in the construction of this bronze age passage grave – the landscape much changed now, bungalows and farms dotted around, working the same land that sustained the tomb-builders.
Harristwon is one of three undifferentiated passage graves in Waterford that are said to owe more to Cornish entrance graves than to Irish passage graves. Trade between there and here is not difficult to imagine and the passing on of construction ideas maybe from Brittany to Cornwall to Waterford is not a leap to far.
simond's aerial shot of the tomb describes it better than any words ever could – however, note the 2 passage roofstones between the passage and the kerb at the top (actually the west 'side' of the tomb). Coming across the remains of graves like this I often wonder at the haphazard form the denudation/destruction takes. Why those particular stones and not the 2 left in situ?
As we took all of this in, somebody arrived in a 4-by-4 and went about his business at the enclosed masts and aerials at the other end of the ridge. This turned out to be the land-owner, who was not a little pissed off that we were on his land. It seems that Harristown is a popular spot and that some visitors are wont to bring wire-cutters to gain access. This explains all the new, unwelcoming security features. He told us that plans and work are in train to allow access to the site, with fenced-in walkways and an enclosed, 'sterile' space around the tomb. I guess this is progress, but I couldn't help being glad that we'd got here before all that kicks in.