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Passage Grave

<b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
Also known as:
  • The Druid's Stone
  • Ballintoy Demesne

OS Ref (GB):   D037438 / Sheet: 5
Latitude:55° 13' 49.05" N
Longitude:   6° 22' 11.83" W

Added by minipixel

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Photographs:<b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by tjj <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by tjj <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel <b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by minipixel Artistic / Interpretive:<b>Magheraboy</b>Posted by tjj


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We approached this from the south because we just don’t listen, another needless half hour toil because we’ll never learn. But that’s nearly half the pleasure, traipsing amidst the gorgeous wild mint in the summery half-bog on the northern slopes of Lannimore Hill, frustrated but determined because when you know what’s on offer you’re never giving up. Footwear counts around here, even in the dry season.

Though it’s on the highest bit of ground for a couple of hundred metres all around it, gorse keeps it hidden from the west, where we were, mainly… until we weren’t. Because eventually we spied it, peeping up almost furtively about 300 metres away, way over there, the three guides we might have followed: tjj, minipixel and Fourwinds ignored because we’re idiots – or at least I am because my companion mainly relies on me knowing what I’m doing.

Such an elegant sculpture, denuded of its cairn, left for us to marvel at in a marvellous location. One of three, it’s sisters are at Clegnagh and Lemnagh Beg a kilometre and a kilometre-and-a-bit to the west. This is the best of the three, a bit of space and a smidge of care (maybe by default) and some fame ensuring it can keep its best face forward. The capstone hangs delicately over the sunken, flooded chamber floor, balanced elegantly with its prow at the north, reaching for the infinite out over White Park Bay.

There are signs of the kerb at the north, an arc of four boulders, and also at the south-west, but covered by the dreaded gorse these days. Small complaint though as the chamber charms any resentment away.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th October 2021ce

Tuesday 21/5/19: I loved this little tomb - perhaps because it reminded me of a smaller version of Devil's Den back home. It is mentioned on an information board at White Park Bay which can be seen as you walk uphill to this site. The information board calls it Druid's Altar and informs us that the bones of three epi-palaeolithic (post glacial hunter gathers) women were excavated there - thought to be aged 16, 20 and an adult.

The site is marked on the OSNI map though not named so the lane leading to it is easy enough to find. A rather magnificent view to be had down to White Park Bay. It took three attempts and a lot of determination to find this site. after the second attempt we asked a local horse rider if he knew of it, he didn't but made a quick phone call - confirmed it existed and gave us some basic directions. So we clambered uphill from the lane again - this time braving our way through the gorse bushes. There was some evidence of people having walked through the gorse before us. My companion fortunately is quite a bit taller than me so spotted the capstone just about at the same level as the gorse.

It was very satisfying indeed to find this site after being disappointed at the first two attempts.
tjj Posted by tjj
27th May 2019ce
Edited 29th May 2019ce

The Druid's Stone, Magheraboy, Ballintoy, County Antrim.

This pretty little passage grave sits in a hollow on top of a small hill with spectacular views over WhitePark Bay and Benbane Head.
The tomb sits in what appears to have been a circular cairn of approx 10m diameter. I counted at least six remaining kerbstones, but it is difficult to be certain, due to a modern drystone wall which cuts through the cairn from NW-SE. I couldnt see any further stones beyong this wall.

The chamber (1.1x1.2m) is orientated NW-SE, with three large stones supporting a chunky capstone, about 2m square. The upright at the SW fits into a groove in the underside of the capstone.

The site is a little tricky to find, and is not visible from the road. I approached from the Ballycastle (Eastern) side of Ballintoy, on the B15. After passing through Ballintoy village, in about 1/2 a mile you will spot an unusually large white house to your left, set back off the road (Mount Druid Rectory). take a left up the concrete lane (also signposted for a guesthouse). As you drive up the lane, the wall of the rectory is on the right, continue up the rocky doubletrack lane for a few hundred metres until you come to a small holiday cottage on the left. (the first house you will see) If you are driving, its probably best to park up before this, the lane is pretty narrow and rough. Just after the cottage there is a field gate on the left. The tomb is about 150m up on the gorse covered knoll behind the cottage, although you won't see it until you're nearly on top of it.

Most should be able to access the site easily with a decent pair of boots. Its well worth a visit, on its secluded hill away from the main tourist trails. I'll be making a date to return in spring when the gorse is in flower.
Posted by minipixel
17th June 2006ce
Edited 17th June 2006ce