The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Carn Beg

Stone Circle (Destroyed)



Class: Stone circle + Embanked enclosure

Townland: CARN BEG

Scheduled for inclusion in the next revision of the RMP: Yes

Description: Situated on a slight SW-facing slope. Wright (1758, vol. 3, 9-10, pl. 3) records and illustrates the remains of two concentric stone circles enclosed by an earthen bank with an external fosse. Outside this earthwork is a further stone circle enclosing all the other monuments. All the features were open to the E in the eighteenth century, probably because they were damaged by an avenue leading to Carn House, which is marked on the 1835 edition of the OS 6-inch map, and which now leads to the clubhouse of a golf course. There was an entrance, undoubtedly original, in the earthen bank at W, but both internal stone circles may have had an entrance at NW. Morris records (1907, 1, 4, 61) that the monument was completely removed at that time, but he probably sought it in Ballynahattin townland.
However, a text analysis revealed that Wright placed the monument ‘on the Planes (sic) of Ballynahaitinne', not in that townland as such (Buckley 1988, 53-4). The site is now recognised as the cropmark of a complex enclosure identified from an aerial photograph (CUCAP: BGL, 40) in the adjacent townland of Carn Beg. The cropmark is of a large enclosure (diam. c. 110m) defined by the negative mark of what is probably a wide earthen bank and traces of a fosse feature. In the interior are the negative cropmarks of two concentric gapped features (ext. diam. c. 50m int. diam. c. 30m), undoubtedly the stone circles which are S of the centre of the embanked enclosure. Archaeological testing (96E0321) immediately outside the embanked enclosure to the S failed to produce any related material (Murphy 1996).

Compiled by: Michael Moore

Date of upload: 18 December 2017


1. Buckley, V.M. 1988 'Ireland's Stonehenge' - a lost antiquarian monument rediscovered. Archaeology Ireland 2 (2), 53-4.
2. CUCAP - Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unit for Landscape Modelling, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.
3. Morris, H. 1905-07 Louthiana: ancient and modern. Mount Bagenal in Cooley. County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society Journal, vol. 1, 2, 17-22; 3, 38-45; 4, 57-61.
4. Murphy, D. 1997 Carnbeg, Dundalk: Enclosure and possible henge. In I. Bennett (ed.) Excavations 1996; summary accounts of archaeological excavations in Ireland. 79, No. 281. Bray, Wordwell
5. Wright, T. 1758 Louthiana: or an introduction to the antiquities of Ireland. London. Thomas Payne.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th September 2019ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment