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


Stone Circle


In Burl’s A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland & Brittany, Castledamph is rated (3), Ruined but recognisable – to which I would add: barely. Another site, like at Beaghmore, ‘discovered’ when 2 metres of peat were removed, this time in the late nineteenth century, the excavation report of 1937 and Burl’s book tell of two contiguous rings, 2 concentric rings with a cairn, two alignments, another cairn and possibly two more concentric circles.

I set out off across a pasture field with some hope and anticipation. About 200 metres in the terrain changes to poorer land and I surmounted the fence into the large enclosure with the monuments. This is a relatively accessible area but has the feel of being isolated, sited on a southern spur of the Sperrins with the deep valley of the Glensass Burn to its west rising towards the north into a natural arena. The land is poor and the bog is growing again so it’s really difficult to make anything out now in late summer, rushes higher than even the tallest of stones.

The alignment is recognisable, as are the two contiguous rings, but as I said earlier, barely. I believe I saw some of the stones of the concentric rings but not in any pattern that displayed their form. The scenery is fantastic here and in my clomping exertions about the place my eyes kept getting pulled away, towards the arena-like bowl two kilometres north below Mullaghcarbatagh and west across the valley to Eden Hill and Craigacrom north of it. Castledamph is archaeologically frustrating but has its rewards.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
23rd December 2021ce

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