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


Dun Ruadh

Stone Circle

<b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
Also known as:
  • Doonroe
  • Crouck

OS Ref (GB):   H623844 / Sheet: 13
Latitude:54° 42' 13.33" N
Longitude:   7° 2' 0.5" W

Added by FourWinds

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)

Sites in this group:

4 posts
Crouck Chambered Tomb
4 posts
Crouck Standing Stone / Menhir

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
<b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by bogman <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by bogman <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by bogman <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by caealun <b>Dun Ruadh</b>Posted by caealun


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
Sometimes when we head out we aim big from the get go. We’d been in Tyrone and Derry a few times this year and there was a seriously glaring omission. Ten or so years ago I’d made a fairly feeble attempt at Dun Ruadh and had been thinking about it since, kind of saving it for some sort of epiphanic occasion from deep within my imagination.

We parked at the old, abandoned schoolhouse at the bottom of the farm lane. Turns out this was built ‘of stones looted from the cairn’ in 1877. There was, what we thought to be, a dead sheep lying in the small courtyard at the front of the building. Creepy. We headed up to the farmhouse and knocked looking for permission. Nothing doing, no-one in, except the dogs in the yard. Well, here we are, and Dun Ruadh is just up there, a couple of gates and fences away. So here we go, spending some time at the small chamber on the way.

The territory is reclaimed farmland, sheep and some cattle. Estyn Evans, writing in 1966, says that the cairn “reaches a maximum height of 7 ft. and it is unlikely to have been much higher because at this point it is capped by a small patch of peat which presumably covered the entire site before the cairn was plundered.” And plundered and plundered and excavated or, again Evans, “much mutilated”… to the point where you wonder what the point is.

So first off, let me say I loved Dun Ruadh. It truly is special. But, and I didn’t want there to be a but, but there is… gorse is colonising the whole south-western paved area and ‘entrance’, hugely detracting from the impact of the place, eating into the inner ‘courtyard’, gobbling up the space and crowding out the vibe. Which is not to say that there’s no vibe there at all.

The ancient rubble of the horseshoe cairn retains such a huge amount of rustic magic as to obliterate my cynicism. Some of the excavated cists are visible in the cairn and the whole place has an air of quiet mystery. There’s no activity on the expanse of the hillside save a very few sheep and the atmosphere of the place seems to be funnelled through the monument. The orthostats of the ring, though gradually being encroached on by the gorse, blankly stare into the inner space, silently ceremonial, transporting us willingly to a lost time of mystery and wonder.

There is the possibility that such an important site as Dun Ruadh could be taken into state care, like at Beaghmore six kilometres to the east, where the manicured intrusiveness hardly detracts from the magic of the place, but in the end I know I’d hate that, all perfect fences, no doubt tight up to the stones, and explanatory noticeboards and the rugged ruin-ness all tidied up. Which is not to say that a half an our and a bushman wouldn’t improve matters. Arriving back at the car, the ‘dead’ sheep was back on its feet, corralled temporarily at the schoolhouse, giving us a lesson in lightheartedness.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
23rd October 2021ce
Edited 26th October 2021ce

Dun Ruadh is a one-off. Not quite sure what other term you would give to a massive horseshoe shaped cairn [still about 2.5 to 3m high - I reckon - in places] with a 17 stone circle defining a central courtyard. Apparently 13 cists were discovered in the cairn, some still visible, the whole site surrounded by a low bank and ditch......... so there you are.

Sited in the hills north of The Creggan visitor centre near Crouck - and featuring in its glossy brochure - the traveller is nonetheless on his own with this one - or at least you were at the time of my visit in June 2006, anyway. I therefore knocked at the nearest house, the woman who answered the door promptly 'ordering' her son, Brendan, to show us the way to the 'fairie ring' forthwith. 'Er, OK mam'. Right on! Needless to say we bunged him a few quid for his trouble and traded political viewpoints.... suffice to say we both have a distinct problem with bigots of all types and I hope I showed him a positive side to us 'Brits'... he was 16 at the time, but very clued up. I probably came across as a muppet, having said that.

Anyway the circle/cairn/whatever is a peach, very well preserved with great views of the Sperrins and bundles of atmosphere. Not surprising really, when only the locals know where it is and they can't understand why us crazy people want to go there. Long may it continue for this is one of Ireland's best.

Oh, and cheers to Four Winds for his web-site prompt.
30th June 2009ce
Edited 30th June 2009ce


Add a link Add a link

Video clip of Dun Ruadh circle/cairn

bogman Posted by bogman
22nd June 2011ce

Latest posts for Dun Ruadh

Crouck (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

About 120 metres east of Dun Ruadh is this heavily leaning standing stone. It looks to be in quite a precarious situation but is said to be 1.7 metres tall. It may be part of a ruined something or other but that’s just pure speculation. It seemed to us that, along with Dun Ruadh and the chambered tomb west of it, Crouck and Crockneyneill Hill has much more to offer the megalithic explorer, but today we had other, bigger fish to fry. ryaner Posted by ryaner
23rd October 2021ce
Edited 24th October 2021ce

Crouck (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

So you’re not going to get much attention when 150 metres north-east up the hill is the wonder of Dún Ruadh, but hang on in there – there’s bound to be a nerdy old completist goon arriving soon in the next millennia or so. Absolutely underwhelming to my companion, especially after I had waxed lyrical about what was to come on the long drive up into deepest, darkest, wonderful mid-Tyrone, I loved this little assemblage of 5 stones, 4 still in situ, almost certainly the remains of a megalithic tomb. What type? I said probably a wedge tomb while on site, but now, on reflection, I’m thinking the remains of the chamber of a court tomb. But who knows? A starter to whet the appetite for the red fort up the hill. ryaner Posted by ryaner
21st September 2021ce

Crouck (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Crouck</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Crouck</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Crouck</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
5th September 2021ce

Crouck (Chambered Tomb) — Images

<b>Crouck</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Crouck</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Crouck</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
5th September 2021ce