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



Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Ballygilbert</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
OS Ref (GB):   
Latitude:54° 55' 25.28" N
Longitude:   5° 55' 10.95" W

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<b>Ballygilbert</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Ballygilbert</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Ballygilbert</b>Posted by ryaner


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We pulled into the parking place at the 279 metre contour along the Ulster Way on the road above Ballygally and Cairncastle. East-south-east from here is Knock Dhu with its promontory fort. Below its northern cliffs is a semi-permanent film set from the early episodes of Game of Thrones. The area is at the southern edge of the Glens of Antrim and the view east is fantastic.

We hadn’t planned on visiting Ballygilbert – we were on our way to Dunteige wedge tomb up the road – but I had Fourwind’s book with me and I asked my mate Thomas if he fancied a three kilometre walk to a surprisingly cool stone. He said yes and so off we set north along the way.

The way marked path crosses two peaks, rising first to Ballycoos at 361 metres, then down into a slight dip and back up to Scawt Hill at 378. I’d thought that once we’d gained Scawt we’d be almost there but no, there’s a steep descent north of the peak and the stone is another kilometre and a half further on. However, we had fantastic weather and the views were amazing and it was from the peak of Scawt that we first caught sight of Scotland, the Rhinns of Galloway visible on the horizon due east.

The ground is wild heathland and is farmed, mostly sheep but some cattle. Stiles allow you to traverse the walls and fences. We ploughed on, determined and blown away by the beauty of the views then gained the stone after about three quarters of an hour. And what a stone! It’s 1.6 metres tall, the top 60 or so centimetres a large bulbous glans. Fnarr fnarring aside this was well worth the effort. How a stone with this obviously phallic form has survived down through the ages given the religious bollocks (ahem) that has swept the land around here is one of megalithic Ireland’s happier tales. Awesome stone, awesome place.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
26th July 2021ce