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



Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech

<b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrkImage © Gordon Kingston
Nearest Town:Dunmanway (9km WNW)
OS Ref (IE):   W3119548039 / Sheets: 86, 89
Latitude:51° 40' 50.69" N
Longitude:   8° 59' 41.63" W

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<b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk <b>Caherkirky</b>Posted by gjrk


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This mini-complex is set in a gradually-sloping, west-facing field with what would have been a long view, blocked now by the adjacent fence, towards the full Carrigfadda range. It comprises two boulder burials, the smaller of which is closely attended by a massive, horned monolith; 2.7m high and 1.9m wide. The larger, western boulder, tightly embraced by hawthorn, rests on three supports. The Inventory refers to one visible support under the eastern cap, but this is now concealed by overgrowth from the fence.

The line of this wall, running tangentially between the two monuments, also incorporates an interlink of two quartz blocks. These need not necessarily be original features, but the presence of similar stones at several Argideen river sites - Letter, Templebryan, Carrigagrenane N, Lettergorman S and both Maulatanvally groups - does offer strong support to the proposal.

It's also tempting, though highly speculative, to zoomorphise the suggestively-shaped pillar using later, local, bull-reference place-names as evidence. Certainly, the two extreme peaks of the Carrigfadda range, to the southwest, present an uncannily similar, horn-like appearance to the top of the roughly aligned stone.

Permission to visit this remarkable site can be obtained from the new house on the side of the road, at the north side of the field.

Archaeological Inventory of Cork, 1992; No.105, 30; No.260, 47.
gjrk Posted by gjrk
7th August 2008ce
Edited 2nd January 2009ce


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'They have made themselves an image of a bull-calf, they have prostrated themselves before it, sacrificed to it and said, "These are your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from Egypt."'
Exodus 32, 8.

'Can brazen cymbals clashing, pipes with curving horns, trickery and magic have an effect so great…?'
Ovid, Metamorphoses, Penguin, 1955, trans. Mary M. Innes, Book III; within 518-555.

'When morning came, the men of Ireland saw the Donn Cuailnge coming westward past Cruachan with the mangled remains of Finnbennach hanging from his horns.
He brandished them before him all that day, and at nightfall entered the lake near Cruachan.'
The Táin, translated from the Tain Bó Cuailgne by Thomas Kinsella, Oxford, 2002, 252.
gjrk Posted by gjrk
13th December 2008ce

Scroll down here to get Michael Wilson's astronomical hypothesis, as it pertains to Caherkirky. He would have walked a short way north from the monument to get this clear horizon view, as far as I can make out. My picture was taken on the other side of the fence, to the south.
You can make up your own mind about the conclusions.
gjrk Posted by gjrk
3rd August 2008ce