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Loch Rangag (Broch)

Visited: August 6, 2020

This broch, more commonly known as Greystell Castle (sometimes as Greysteil Castle) stands on a stubby peninsula on the eastern shore of Loch Rangag. The structure is severely dilapidated with a tumble of angular blocks surrounding it. Indeed the only obvious signs of structure are a hint of double wall around the western arc and slight signs of a ruined entrance passage on the east.

It has been suggested that the peninsula may well be a man-made structure - perhaps originally a crannog.

The easiest access to Greystell Castle, from the car-park, is to follow the main road south until level with the broch. Although the field below is protected by an electric fence, you will find at this point a narrow break in the fence where the electric wire is safely ensconced in a loop of insulation to allow clear passage. It's just a matter now of descending an easy grassy slope to the stile that gives access to the broch.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
13th August 2020ce

Slievefoore (Cairn(s))

Slievefoore (An Sliabh Fuar – the cold mountain) is a small hill, 414 metres above sea level on the eastern side of a small range that culminates in the pinnacle of Croghan Mountain (606 metres) straddling the Wicklow/Wexford border. The hills are southern outliers from the main Wicklow range. There are no antiquities marked on the OS map in the range. However, on archaeology.ie there is a cairn marked on Slievefoore. A friend recently moved into the are and on a visit I got curious and decided to investigate.

Most of the Croghan area is forested and is now peppered with the turbines of a large windfarm. The entrance to the forestry has a couple of information signs and the area around it is known locally as White Heaps "due to the cairns of quartz which may have marked prehistoric burial mounds”. Cairns? Intriguing. The cairn is actually a kilometre from here so a bit more investigation is needed.

The walk north to the cairn from the entrance was relatively easy, up through the forestry and over a couple of farm gates. Eventually you’re left about 50 metres below the summit of Slievefoore in a heathery, boggy field. The top is easily reached but was still quite wet after the poor summer we’ve been having.

The cairn sits at the north end of what is an elongated summit which is aligned roughly north south. The hill starts to gently but obviously descend from the northern tip of the cairn and the views north are extensive. The cairn is low and flat, almost like an artificial, ceremonial platform. It’s mainly grass covered, but where the cairn stones do protrude, they are mainly quartz. There are 2 quartz boulders loose on the cairn and another boulder has quartz encrustation.

The very visible kerb consists of 28 stones, some of which are orthostatic but most are just lying on the ground. Tara Hill (253 metres) to the south-east with its own cairn draws the eye. The views all around are magnificent, except to the south where they’re blocked by forestry. I spent quite a while here, drinking in the views with a soundtrack of the whoosh of the large turbines to the west. I found the ‘cairn’ quite puzzling. Is it actually a cairn? Why are most of the ‘kerbstones’ loose on the ground? It’s obviously ancient, but there does seem to have been modern interference. The sense I got was that this was a place of ceremony rather than of burial.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
13th August 2020ce

Wag of Forse (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: August 8, 2020

Wag of Forse is a dun associated with an extensive complex of stone structures, including longhouses, known locally as wags. The site is extensive and fairly ruinous. The first feature to catch the eye is the entrance into the dun with its huge wedge-shaped lintel. Rather than try to interpret the scene, I recommend reading the in-depth discussion on Wag of Forse on the Canmore website.



This is not the easiest of sites to visit: there is no path to take you there. My route started at a lay-by on the A9 about one mile north of Latheron (white marker) and followed the good track leading to Corr (yellow line) for about 600 metres to a point where the dense gorse on the right eventually gave way to grass and heather. Leaving the track I headed directly towards the prominent stone wall that surrounds the area, a distance of about 80 metres. This well constructed wall is about 1½ metres tall and is guarded by a double strand of taut barbed wire along its top making it all but impossible to clamber over.

Fortunately, if you turn left at this point and follow the wall northwards for a short distance, a gate appears allowing easy access beyond. Wag of Forse now lies several hundred metres to the southeast over relatively easy grass and heather (cyan line on map), but in a dip in the undulating terrain. This means you will not see any structures until you are relatively close to the site.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
12th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 10 (Round Barrow(s))

Glücksburg 10 (Tomb 6 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a round barrow. It lies about 240 m northeast of Glücksburg 110 along the main track from the parking space Schauenthal, where the Dolmenpfad branches off in a northerly direction.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 10 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 6.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 09 (Round Barrow(s))

Glücksburg 09 (Tomb 7 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a round barrow. It lies about 170m northeast of Glücksburg 10 along the main track from the parking space Schauenthal.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 09 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 7.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 11 (Round Barrow(s))

Glücksburg 11 (Tomb 8 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a round barrow. It lies about 150m northeast of Glücksburg 12 along the main track from the parking space Schauenthal.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 11 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 8.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 12 (Round Barrow(s))

Glücksburg 12 (Tomb 9 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a round barrow. It is the first station of the Dolmenpfad, if you start at the parking space Schauenthal.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 12 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 9.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 13 (Long Barrow)

Glücksburg 13 (Tomb 10 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a badly damaged long barrow (in German Langbett or Hünenbett). The mound has dimensions of 34 meters long, 11 meters wide and up to 1.50 meters high. In the middle area and at the west end there are deep excavation holes, probably the locations of former chambers. At the northwest end there is one last stone of the enclosure.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 13 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 10.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th August 2020ce

Carrickclevan (Portal Tomb)

This took a bit of finding, not wholly unsurprising at this time of the year. We parked up the way of the cul de sac and walked a couple of hundred metres. A farmer and his son were harvesting in the field we needed to traverse and he was very happy to allow us head over to the tomb. His directions of “off up to the right” were as helpful as trying to use the old OS map, but in the end he was right, just that the tomb was on the wrong side of the hedge and completely overgrown on the side from which we approached.

It’s a little gem really. Leaving aside it’s overgrown state and the fact that some of the trees may eventually collapse the whole structure, there’s quite a lot left. Both portals, both sidetones and most of the capstone are extant, if not in their exact original position. The southern portal and sidetone are both leaning inwards. The large capstone, estimated at 6 tons (see folklore below) has had a portion snap off at the rear of the chamber where the backstone seems to be missing.

Opened up and allowed to breathe a little, Carrickclevan would be by no means a spectacular, show site – it’s not even head height. Which is not to say that it couldn’t do with a bit of love – it squats there, almost as an afterthought, slightly shamefaced, cowering beneath all that vegetation. After a spending a bit of time we left, happy to have found it, almost lost and unloved, but now re-found.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
10th August 2020ce

Dunsany (Bullaun Stone)

Opposite the entrance to Dunsany castle, at the foot of a christian cross is this quite peculiar stone. The two bullauns are fairly shallow, in comparison to most, and there are said to be more cup-like depressions that I didn't notice. The stone itself is almost square-shaped and has been fractured in a couple of places down through the years (or the millenia). The white lichen almost covers the entire surface and makes it hard to examine. An oddity. ryaner Posted by ryaner
10th August 2020ce

Derrynavahagh (Wedge Tomb)

The Caher river valley runs roughly north-south through the townland of Derrynavahagh. North of the townland there is a crossroads in Formoyle East where the Burren Way crosses, having descended from the northern slopes of Sliabh Eilbhe, heading east towards Gleninagh mountain. We had been further back along the Way earlier at Ballelly enclosure and wedge tomb, but had spun our way around back up through Fanore and onto the Caher Valley road. I had kind of a loose plan that had gone out the window a few sites back so here we were, south of the crossroads, in the thick hazel scrub that has colonised so many parts of the Burren.

There is probably a better, safer, easier way to Derrynavahagh wedge tomb, south from the Burren Way perhaps, across the limestone pavement, but hindsight is a great thing. Right now I had a carload of barely interested teenagers and a half-interested friend, and even though Derrynavahagh is one of the finest examples in the Burren, I was close to giving up when I asked, “well, are yous up for it or what?” Up for it, as it turned out, was climbing up from the road south of the crossroads, after we had found a spot where the scrub had thinned out. After a few shrugs, and a sort of explanation of what ‘it’ entailed, we headed up.

The Burren terrain rises and falls in a series of terraces. Often the climb from one terrace to the other is only 10 metres. From what I could make out from the satellite photo I had (ah the pleasures of modern technology), we’d have a series of three climbs and and a half a kilometre of a walk over varying ground. The ascent from the road to gain the first scrub-covered terrace was the hardest. The second ascent left us on our first bit of raw limestone pavement. This is what the Burren is really about and my companions were delighted. I headed for the third ascent and over to the tomb.

It’s semi-surrounded by a modern stone wall and is a stunner. Largely intact and isolated, it’s kind of an introverted megalithic explorers dream. It has the wedge shape, take-off and landing-strip profile that we all know and love. The massive capstone has broken at the rear of the chamber and doesn’t reach the backstone. There are a couple of slabs lying around that are or were part of the tomb but I couldn’t make out from whence they came. The triple walling on the eastern side is phenomenal, with the 2 metre tall standing stone beyond the chamber opening almost like a sentinel standing guard.

Aside from the magnificence of the tomb, the location has to be commented on. To the east the ridge rises towards Faunarooska townland with its three ruined tombs. West and south-west across the Caher river valley is the broad expanse of Sliabh Eilbhe, with its craggy terracing. North towards Black Head is Gleninagh mountain. It’s an area rich in isolated wonders and, without sounding like a tourist rep. or salesman, one could spend weeks here, lost in the mesmerising views both near and far, endlessly pondering the beauty and magnificence of the world.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
10th August 2020ce

Coill'ach a' Chuil (Broch)

Visited: August 7, 2020

Coill'ach a' Chuil is an almost totally ruined broch that sits on the south shore of Loch Naver, some 600 metres west of the point at which the River Naver exits the eastern end of the loch.

At the time of this visit Coill'ach a' Chuil supported a rank growth of bracken which obscured the finer details of what structure remains of the broch. I could find no trace of the stretch of outer wallface, entrance and guard cell cited by Canmore. What was clear, however, is that around and immediately above the waterline, a substantial barrier of very large boulders marks the boundary of the broch, suggesting perhaps that the enture structure had been built atop an artificial platform.

Access to the broch starts at a track leading south from the Strathnaver road at NC 669 385, and which leads to a bridge across the River Naver. Immediately across the bridge, a path heads right towards the adjacent woodland where there are two gates. Take the rightmost gate and follow a walkers' path that roughly follows the loch shore to the broch. The walking is easy, over grass and short heather, and it takes around half an hour to gain the broch from the road.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
10th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 05 (Round Barrow(s))

Glücksburg 05 (Tomb 1 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is presumable a badly damaged extended dolmen in a round barrow. Preserved is a round mound of about 14 meters in diameter and 1.1 meters in high. In the middle of the mound there is a large stone and a few small stones. Originally a dolmen or extended dolmen will have existed. Archaeological investigations found burnt pieces of flint.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 05 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 1.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
9th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 06 (Chambered Tomb)

Glücksburg 06 (Tomb 2 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a badly damaged simple dolmen. Hardly anything can be seen from a mound. A single large stone is preserved. Also nothing of the original structure of the site can be seen. The mound is said to have had a diameter of about 9 meters. Archaeological investigations found burnt pieces of flint.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 06 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 2.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
9th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 07 (Long Barrow)

Glücksburg 07 (Tomb 5 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is a badly damaged long barrow (in German Langbett or Hünenbett). In 1963, Röschmann gave the length of 22 meters, the width of 11-14 meters and the height of 1.80-2.40 meters. At the west end there was an excavation hole measuring 4.80 x 5 meters and 1.30 meters deep. This hole, which represents the location of the former chamber, is nowhere near as deep. The stones of the chamber and the enclosure are all gone. You can still see two stones from a narrow entrance, which Röschmann does not mention.

Please note, that the name Glücksburg 07 was arbitrarily chosen by me for this website, as I do not know an official name for it. Along the dolmen path it is Tomb 5.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
9th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 02 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Glücksburg 02 (Tomb 4 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is an east-west oriented simple dolmen (Urdolmen). The burial mound has a diameter of about 8–9 m. An encirclement could not be determined here either. The burial chamber consists of four wall stones and a cap stone. The wall stones measure between 1.40 m and 1.50 m and are strongly inclined inwards. The capstone was blown into three pieces and in 1936 was still outside the burial chamber. During a later restoration it was put together and put on again. The chamber has a length of 2.00 m and a width between 0.70 m and 0.80 m.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
8th August 2020ce

Glücksburg 01 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Glücksburg 01 (Tomb 3 of the Dolmenpfad in Glücksburg) is an north-south oriented extended dolmen. The burial mound has a diameter of about 9 m. Surrounding stones are no longer available. Only three wall stones remain of the burial chamber, which are two support stones on the east side and the southern end stone. The wall stones on the west and north side and the two cap stones are no longer preserved. The entrance to the burial chamber was probably in the southeast corner. The chamber was about 1.50 m long and about 1.00 m wide.

P.S.: The image stabilizer on my camera didn't work properly on this tour, so some of my images are unfortunately out of focus. Sorry for that.

Visited June 2020
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
8th August 2020ce

Callaigh Berra's House (Passage Grave)

I’ve been to Calliagh Berra’s house and lake 5 times, I think, and never written about it before. It’s well covered elsewhere and I haven’t felt the need. Experiences today, and newspaper reports, have given me second thoughts, so here goes.

The Ring of Gullion caldera itself would be impressive and worth a visit even without having one of the highest passage graves in Ireland, plus the lake, plus the second cairn. Then there’s Ballykeel dolmen to its west. So it’s a bit of a draw really, and not just for stone heads. Slieve Gullion forest park is a major attraction, with playgrounds, a café, various trails and easy access. Out of season, however, the crowds thin out, and there was no-one around on the snowy, January day I visited in 2016. Not today alas.

The car-park on the western shoulder that Gladman mentions below is still there. I’ve used it on all the occasions I’ve visited. It’s on close to the 350 metre contour, thus leaving you about a 226 metre climb. You could start from the car-park at the forest park centre, about a four kilometre walk below at the 120 metre contour, but I’ve always had the car and never felt the need.

The ascent to the summit and the cairn is quite strenuous but is now along a stone and gravel track. Access has been opened up and at many of the steepest parts the track turn into stone stairs. Work on this is ongoing and they’ve even gone as far as creating a track across the boggy top of the mountain, over to the lake and the second tomb.

All of this positive work does have its downside however. The erosion around the tomb is increasing. In fact, all of the top of the mountain is suffering. Who am I to complain about this? I get out as often as I can and how can we enthusiasts separate ourselves from the general mass of the populace seeking the benefits of the great outdoors?

And what of the tomb itself? It’s not the ultimate destination of a lot who come here. It seems to me to be an afterthought to most, a bunch of rocks without too much meaning other than vague notions of times past. Which is maybe its saving grace – most don’t bother too much with it, taking the odd selfie, clambering onto it and into it and leaving not long after. And then there’s the cohort that stick around a bit longer, maybe have a few beers and a few spliffs, who knows, maybe light a fire and fuck around a bit, carving names or initials into the rocks in the chamber, generally getting shitfaced and not giving too many fucks about anything. Been there, done that.

It’s been on my mind a bit, this general disregard for, and the popularising of, these places - and not just because it’s in the papers. I’ve been to some sites this year that have been trashed and I have felt caught between two stools. On the one hand I’m an enthusiast that photographs these places and put the results on an open website, partly guilty of the very popularising that I sneer at. And on the other, when I see these places restricted, like the cold houses of Knowth and Newgrange, I bristle.

I love Calliagh Berra’s house, even with its fake ass roof. The thunderously clunky construction of the chamber, the inexpert basin stones, the lintel over the passage entrance, the passage itself with its massive horizontal ‘orthostats’ and the quite massive cairn, all together make this tomb unique in passage grave-dom. We sheltered from the mini-storm back that day in 2016, in the mother’s womb, and were grateful. But this may be a luxury in the future. The general disregard of, even the vandalism and trashing of these places may end in them being closed to everyone. And in the end, who could argue with that?
ryaner Posted by ryaner
7th August 2020ce

Ballyelly (Wedge Tomb)

About a kilometre south of Fanore Beach a road climbs the lower northwest slopes of Sliabh Eilbhe in an almost southerly direction. This road meets the Burren Way walkers’ trail at Balliny North after about 2.5 kilometres. You can park here. Head back in a northeasterly direction along the Burren Way. The track is well walked and popular. It’s in that part of the Burren where there is still a thin cover of soil and vegetation, more dangerous for traversing than the denuded parts as the cover tends to hide the grykes that can result in a snapped ankle.

The walk to the enclosure, tomb and the hut site is about 2.5 kilometres of leisurely trekking. The stones and condition of the enclosure walls and the hut site are similar to those of the shattered and collapsed tomb. This could lead one to believe that they originate from the same era. I like to think that there was a bronze-age smallholding here which included the wedge tomb.

There’s not much to say about the tomb itself. It’s in a very collapsed state, but both sidetones seem to be there, along with a couple of roofslabs and a possible backstone. It is typical of the Burren wedge tomb class.

We spent a while here in the welcome but intermittent sunshine. The Burren terrain, like the Aran Islands to the west, seems to suck the noise of the world out of the atmosphere, enclosing the spirit in a bubble of peace and eeriness. We investigated the clochán about 250 metres to the south-east and then headed back to the track via the enclosure.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
6th August 2020ce

Baur South (Cl. 26) (Wedge Tomb)

So I finally got to this one, Baur South (Cl. 26) for us pedants. I'd been in the area three times previously and always lucked out. Not this time mofo. What can I say about the Historic Environment Viewer at archaeology.ie except that it's the coolest, most valuable thing on the www for Irish archaeology heads (and guess what: there's now a Historic Environment Map Viewer for the six counties).

Heading north-east from the Lissylisheen/Cahermacnaghten area you emerge from the Hazel scrub as the road veers directly east. Stop here. There's a boundary wall that seems to continue from the west side of the road over to the east. Walk back west and the tomb is north of this wall, about 250 metres from the road.

The 1961 photo of the tomb shows it in a typical craggy Burren field, open to the air and able to breathe. Alas no more. It's now coralled within a copse of the dreaded hazel scrub, inundated with vegetation that teemed with midges and flies on the last day of July. It's kinda sad and a tad frustrating.

Still and all it was a treat. The box within a box doesn't make any logical sense. No harm there. The outer 'skin' is said to have the remains of more outer walling, but this, and the transversely set entrance stones, were not visible in its present condition. We didn't stay long, attacked by swarms of insects, and with the hunger growing on us from a long day out, we fled down the road to Poulnabrone, civilised and staid, and then back to reality.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
4th August 2020ce

Gleninagh North (Wedge Tomb)

Most people visit Gleninagh for the tower house and the storm beach. Down the track off the Ballyvaughan to Black Head road and there's also a holy well, some fulachtaí fia, the remains of a bawn and a 'house of indeterminate age'.

The very scant remains of a wedge tomb are what we're looking for. Beyond the tower house, towards the storm beach, there are two parallel, reasonably thick slabs embedded in the ground, aligned roughly north-south. They're not much and it's surprising that they're still here, given the needs of the construction of the tower house, but here they are. Maybe it was superstition that stopped its complete destruction.

The usual summer growth stopped me from investigating further - there may be more stones there. The two visible sidestones are heavily embedded in the turf. The storm beach is really rather magnificent. If you're passing, maybe heading to Fanore or Moher, you could spend a while here and be well rewarded.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
4th August 2020ce

Swallowhead Springs (Sacred Well)

I have visited Swallow head spring several times . when the waters are flowing and when the spring is dry . it is a truly magical place . i have left offerings to the Goddess on these visits and sat and contemplated for a while in these tranquil settings at this sacred site. The Mary Energy line comes through the Great River Kennet and through the spring . There are always offerings placed round and the Sacred Tree is truly a Clootie tree now. you can find Swallow head spring by either crossing the field before the gate that leads to the Long Barrow ,by following the edge of the field to the right just before the gate . or you can also get to this wonderful place by going through the gate and following the edge of the field to the right ,up the slight hill slope and you can access the spring by a gap in the hedgerow just before the fence meets the point at the bottom .go through the hedgerow ,turn to the left and it takes you to a clear path that takes you to the willow arch . certain times of the year the spring does dry up . a nice sunny day in early spring should be a nice time to visit. There are always offerings and items left hanging on the branches or in the water . there was a beautiful green man plaque left in the water that i saw last june and when i visited last ,it was gone . if this sacred site is your thing ,visit it and be filled with whatever you feel there, either magic,energy or whatever . The last time i was there with my sister, we left the spring via the willow arch ,up through and out from the hedgerow and as we walked down the edge of the field ,there suddenly was hundred of butterflies of all colours fluttering around .good luck and brightest blessings. Posted by wiccanman1965
3rd August 2020ce
Edited 4th August 2020ce

Aughinish (Wedge Tomb)

Aughinish (Eachinis) is a destination, a small Clare island, connected by a causeway to the neighbouring county of Galway. There's nowhere to go after here, save the wide expanse of Galway Bay, and after that the good ole US of A. It's about 2 kilometres east to west and a little over a kilometre north to south.

A road that runs the length of the island morphs into a track about half way along in a tiny hamlet. The track terminates at a small cliff on the western end of the island, a rubble beach about 50 feet below. There is a slight path along the top of the cliff. Follow this north to the fifth field along. The tomb is 60 metres back into this field, along the north side of the wall.

The remains are scant, but this is a very Burren-like wedge tomb. The northern sidestone, the backstone and the roofstone are definitely there. The southern sidestone could still be there but I couldn't see for all the summer growth. The tilt of the roofstone says that maybe it's gone.

I wondered how Aughinish wedge tomb has survived. The clouds raced by and the sun occasionally broke through. The view west towards Black Head was beautiful. I could while away a while here but I had bigger fish to fry, and impatient teenagers back at the car. Like I said, not on the way anywhere and all the better for that.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
3rd August 2020ce
Edited 6th August 2020ce

Carreg Wen (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I've been aware of this standing stone for absolutely years, but Kammers words of recommendation seemed to ring loudly for me, he said he had to cheat to get there by driving up a forestry track, he didn't like it. Instead he advises on a walk across the mountains to get there. So that's precisely what I did. It's been bloody hard work and I've yet to retrace my steps in order to get back to the car.
Coming down off the "other plum" I could see that some tree felling had occurred since Kammers visit, now the whole place would be harder to navigate and the little stone in a big landscape would be all the more harder to pin down. My one crumb of hope was the stone is near to a meteorological station which would I hope be easier to find. After more walking (ugh, wheres my electric mountain bike) and less height I fancy I can see a place that might be that long word place, fixing my zooooom lens and having a look I can see a large white thing and a tall slim pole like thing. That'll do, I make for those, and when they go out of view I make for the lake behind them.
It is at least all down hill, so pretty soon I'm standing right beside the standing stone of my dreams, and it is gleaming.

The large white thing is indeed Carreg Wen, the tall pole thing turned out to be a dead tree, the meteorological station is actually very low and all but out of view.
Going through a gate the stone is on the left, standing beside it is an information board, I was fair gobsmacked to see that all the way up here. Not much information though, it glistens, it was erected by bronze age miners who are buried on the hill tops, not much.

The stone is no longer surrounded by beautiful life, growing, breathing, wondrous living life, instead is a scene of destruction, all the trees are gone and replaced by a war like scene, death and destruction. Despite that extreme negativity the stone is still vibrantly alive and gorgeous to the eyes and the hands, it was all I could do to refrain from lying down with the damned lovely thing.
Thing?she is a lady, and I will refer to her as such throughout.
She stands a little over six feet tall, depending on which side of her your standing on, squarish, her southern side flat, straight and with a mottling of lichen. All around the rest she is smooth perfect white quartz, smooth except where the crystals angularity juts out unfairly this way and that.
Have you seen that Giant crystal cave deep underground in Mexico somewhere, Carreg Wen has a micro version on her east face, get up close and see the crystals sparkle and twinkle. She is a beauty.

I sit for a while, back against the information board, then I start to hear things, first voices then an engine, I stand up and peering over the broken forest I can see men, men on motorbikes, strewth how long have they been here? It's a good job me and the lady didn't get intimate, they'd have heard her for sure, then it would have quickly turned into a Pink Floyd song, I sit back down and roll a fat one. They soon put-put back off down the forestry track and we're alone again, I had thought we were alone already, but no matter, because I just felt a rain drop on my arm, I am not dressed for rain in the mountains so I pack up and give her ladyship a big hug and bid her a fond farewell. My what an attractive stone, it's like the Earth gave birth to a star, go there and see her twinkle, no don't look at her twinkle just be amazed at her beauty. A stone like that is worth a dozen hill top cairns.

The long walk back to the car was torturous and murderously long and slogging, I've never wished for alternative transport more than then, just thought I'd put that out there. Jeeves send for the helicopter.
postman Posted by postman
2nd August 2020ce

Pen Pumlumon-Arwystli Cairns (Cairn(s))

Pen Pumlumon-Arwystli, fits in the mouth nicely, doesn't it, I just called it the "Other Plum".

So..... heading east down off Pen Pumlumon Fawr, highest peak in the Cambrian mountains, one firstly comes to a large walkers cairn that sits on level ground on a saddle between two peaks. Leaving the cairn for the unnamed peak that sits just north of Pen Lluest y Carn, I carry on over it and come into view of the mountain I've yet to climb.
The path takes you up and behind the big hill and will go right on by unless you leave the path and purposely seek out the top, just keep looking left for the top of a cairn, it was about fifty yards from the path.
The first cairn I get to is the southern of the three cairns. It has a hollowed out interior, and is comparable in height (about 6ft)to the central cairn it's nearest nieghbour. But the central cairn is bigger in square feet I think. A shelter has erupted out of its eastern lower flank, making the whole thing look like a stone octopus tentacles draped over the hill top.

Darker clouds are growing in the sky, I eye them with disdain, I've definitely not dressed for rain, getting a move on.
The third cairn is again the smallest of the three, two mountain tops next door to each other, both with three cairns, both with the northern most cairn the smallest, can't be a coincidence, surely?
Mountain top done I start to look for the way down to Carreg Wen the white stone of infinite clarity. I see the way, and go that way.
postman Posted by postman
2nd August 2020ce
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