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Broadleas

Stone Circle

<b>Broadleas</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
Nearest Town:Ballymore Eustace (3km NNW)
OS Ref (IE):   N930075 / Sheet: 56
Latitude:53° 6' 35.97" N
Longitude:   6° 36' 39.86" W

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Fieldnotes

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I've visited Broadleas at least 5 times before (it's right beside the road, a small diversion from the N81 thoroughfare down through Wicklow and Carlow) but have never felt the urge to write about my visits. Today, mid-March 2014, is different, mainly because I made a decision to write notes, however slight, for every site I visit, but also because I was rather more enchanted by the place than at any other previous time.

I've recently found the exact site of the nearby destroyed Whiteleas circle so I was in the vicinity on a scouting mission. That mission will have to wait for another day, when I don't have my 5-year-old in tow, but preliminary snooping is quite hopeful.

But back to Broadleas: now is the time to visit. All nettles and other unfriendlies have died right back and the circle is more visually accessible. The eastern arc is crowded out by thorn trees, but standing in the centre of the circle allows one appreciate the ring. The stones are at the edge of a raised platform, probably man-made, and possibly once upon a time the whole was embanked.

I climbed the denuded tree on the western arc and fired off a few shots, but felt a bit too old to be doing that sort of thing.

If you travel south out of Tallaght, this is the first of the four remaining Wicklow/Kildare circles that you come to. Then it's on to Athgreany, Castleruddery and Boleycarrigeen. I was very struck by the views to the south-east in those circles' direction: Slievecorragh and Church mountain pull the eye, and I can't wait to get to the aforementioned Whiteleas to see what, if anything, remains and what views the builders may have noticed.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
18th March 2014ce
Edited 19th March 2014ce

Visited 25.5.11
This is an easy site to visit with a place to pull in right next to the field in which the stone circle stands. A quick hop over the fence and a short walk and you are there.
I counted 29 stones which were more boulders than standing stones. The field was full of sheep and two lambs were standing on top of one of the stones!
Over the far side of the field was a bull which I didn't notice until I was making my way back to the car. Luckily he either didn't see me or didn't take any notice of me!
This is a lovely little circle and well worth a visit when in the area.
Posted by CARL
16th June 2011ce

November 18th was our 10th wedding anniversary and my wife treated us to a weekend in Dublin, hire car and all, so after the promise of a shopping spree on Connell street (Aaaaagh nightmare) we headed south to look for a couple of stone circles that we'd neglected on our last trip to Irelandia.
First we sought the circle of Broadleas, with nowt more than a road atlas and half remembered directions from the Megalithic European.
Needless to say I got it wrong and couldnt find it, so I did what any postman would do and looked for help at the post office, they didn't know but the bloke that owned the rest of the shop knew where it was, though he said he'd never been to the stones himself. He got me there almost perfectly, I drove past it once but on the way back it was large and obvious, and room to park next to it by a gate.
The circle is a really good one, some stones are missing to be sure but those that are left are really big boulders, white and shining in the morning scattered sunlight.
One stone left on its own has been cracked right down the middle by a holly tree, the southern arc is overshadowed by small trees and on the opposite side by one big mature tree, the circle is sited on a perhaps artificially leveled platform or even on a raised hillock, either way an overall picture of the circle is difficult without me good old step ladders.
postman Posted by postman
30th November 2010ce

Folklore

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After a little delay, the remainder of the journey was accomplished to the next regular stoppage, at a place called "The Piper's Stones." here, again, Lord Walter Fitzgerald had some information prepared for the members, which he read out at the spot. He explained that the existing objects of antiquarian interest lying a short distance to the south-west of Ballymore-Eustace are three in number. In the first place there are the large boulders of graite placed in a circle 31ft. in diameter in the townland of Broadleas Commons, called "The Piper's Stones." They are now 29 in number. Formerly they made up a complete circle of closely placed boulders, though now there are large gaps in the ring showing where in times past many had been broken up and carried away for building purposes.

At a place called Athgreney, there is another similar circle of stones, and in the Deerpark, near Blessington, formerly there was a third one, each called "The Piper's Stones," but this latter was demolished years ago for building purposes.

[...] The name, "Piper's Stones," was often applied to this class of monument, and must have its origin in some now forgotten legend. The only explanation the old people give for the name is that bagpipe music, played by the "good people" or fairies, is still occasionally heard at the spot.

A quarter of a mile to the north-east of "The Piper's Stones" are the remains of a Pagan sepulchral moat, called Knockshee, meaning "the fairy hill." Little of it is now left, three-quarters of it having been demolished years ago, probably by some farmers, for the purpose of top-dressing the adjoining lands.

[...] Half a mile to the north-west of "The Piper's Stones" is a prostrate granite monolith, known as "The Long Stone." It formerly stood in a small rath-like enclosure now levelled, and which was thrown down in the year 1836.
From the Kildare Archaeological Society's annual excursion reported in the Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail, 22nd September 1900.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th May 2017ce