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County Antrim

Sites/Groups in this region:

Antynanum Standing Stones
5 posts
Ballin Tagart (Reconstruction) Court Tomb
7 posts
Ballycleagh Standing Stones
4 posts
Ballygilbert Standing Stone / Menhir
5 posts
Ballygomartin Standing Stone / Menhir
5 posts
Ballylig Standing Stone / Menhir
3 posts
Ballylumford Passage Grave
14 posts
Ballymacaldrack Court Tomb
11 posts
Ballynagloch Standing Stones
6 posts
Ballyvennaght Court Tomb
5 posts
Ballyvennaght Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Ballyvennaght Cairn(s)
5 posts
Ballyvennaght Wedge Tomb
4 posts
Ballyvennaght Portal Tomb
Ballyvennaght Portal Tomb
16 posts
Ballyvennaght Portal Tomb
4 posts
Ballyvoy Court Tomb
8 posts
Ballyvoy Passage Grave
5 posts
Breen Standing Stone / Menhir
17 posts
Carnanmore Passage Grave
1 post
Carncome Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Cave Hill Cairn(s)
6 posts
Clegnagh Passage Grave
8 posts
Cloghafadd Court Tomb
4 posts
Clough Berragh Standing Stone / Menhir
2 posts
Coolanlough Wedge Tomb
4 posts
Corvally Standing Stone / Menhir
Craigarogan Passage Grave
5 posts
Craigs Court Tomb
9 posts
Craigs Lower Passage Grave
Craigywarren Standing Stone / Menhir
6 posts
Cross Passage Grave
3 posts
Cross Crannog
3 posts
Cushendun Caravan Park Standing Stone / Menhir
5 posts
Deer Park Farms Standing Stone / Menhir
Dunteige Court Tomb
6 posts
Dunteige Wedge Tomb
2 posts
Glenmakeerin Court Tomb
1 post
Goakstown Wedge Tomb
Goakstown Standing Stone / Menhir
10 posts
The Hole Stone Holed Stone
5 posts
Killyglen Standing Stone / Menhir
Kilmakee Cairn(s)
11 posts
Knocklayd Cairn(s)
5 posts
Lemnagh Beg Passage Grave
Lisnamanny Standing Stones
6 posts
Loughguile Standing Stone / Menhir
4 posts
Lough-na-Cranagh Crannog
Lurigethan Promontory Fort
19 posts
Magheraboy Passage Grave
5 posts
McArt's Fort Promontory Fort
16 posts
Ossian's Grave Court Tomb
Scotchomerbane Standing Stone / Menhir
Skerries West Standing Stone / Menhir
7 posts
Tamybuck Wedge Tomb
4 posts
Tervillin Wedge Tomb
The Three Brothers Stone Row / Alignment
6 posts
Ticloy Portal Tomb
5 posts
Tober-bile Standing Stone / Menhir
Tobergill Stone Circle
15 posts
West Torr Passage Grave
2 posts
The Witches' Stone Bullaun Stone

News

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Bronze Age man's burial site unearthed

Human remains dating back almost 4,000 years have been uncovered on Rathlin Island off the County Antrim coast

More details from the BBC here.
Hob Posted by Hob
6th February 2006ce

Toome Artefacts to go on Display?


Rosie Cowan, Ireland correspondent
Monday January 13, 2003
The Guardian

Road excavations in Northern Ireland have unearthed what appears to be evidence of the island's earliest settlers and first farmers... continues...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
13th January 2003ce
Edited 15th March 2004ce

Artefacts Unearthed at Toome Bypass Excavations


Blades and pottery unearthed during work on the new Toome Bypass reveal invaluable information about the lives of ancient peoples, according to archaeologists who have examined the artefacts... continues...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th January 2003ce
Edited 15th March 2004ce

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<b>County Antrim</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>County Antrim</b>Posted by Howburn Digger

Folklore

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Mr. W. J. Knowles, M.R.I.A., secretary for county Antrim to the Council of the present Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, states that he knew instances where the posessor of a few flint implements refused to part with them, as he found it more profitable to hire them out to neighbours, for the purpose of curing cattle, than it would be to sell them. Theis writer also remarks that, in reference to the employment of flint arrow-heads and spear-heads in curing cattle, he received recently an account from an aged man, who lives not far from Ballymena, of how the ceremony of cattle-curing was carried on in his young days:-

"He had a neighbour, a very respectable farmer, who was a cow-doctor, and who had a considerable number of beautiful flint arrow-heads, by means of which he effected cures in the case of cattle which were ill. This cow-doctor invariably found that the animal was either 'elf-shot' or 'dinted,' or it might be suffering from both troubles. When 'elf-shot,' I suspect the arrow had pierced the hide; and when 'dinted,' I imagine there was only an indentation, which the doctor could feel as easily as the holes. When he was called in to see a cow which was ill, he would feel the hide all over, and find, or pretend to find, holes or indentations, and would call on anyone present to feel them. He would then assure the owner that he would very soon cure the cow. My informant told me that the man's usual expression when he found the holes was, in his own local language, 'Begor, we hae found the boy noo,' meaning that he had found the cause of the beast's ailment. Some gruel would now have to be prepared, into which he would put a few of his arrow-heads, a piece of silver, usually a sixpence, and he would also add some sooty matter which he had previously scraped from the bottom of the pot. When all had been boiled well together, and was ready for use, he would take a mouthful and blow it into the animal's ears, another mouthful and blow it over her back, and then he would give the remainder to the cow to drink, and would go away, assuring the owner that she would soon be better. I understand he was generally successful in effecting cures, and was held in high estimation as a cow-doctor. My informant said he was often sent for by Lord Mountcashel's agent, when he lived in Galgorm Castle, to prescribe for cattle which were ill. There must, however, have been sceptics in those days, as I am told that the poor cow-doctor was often jocularly asked to examine a cow that was in perfectly good health, and that there was considerable merriment when he pronounced her to be both 'elf-shot' and 'dinted'. "
From Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland' by W.G. Wood-Martin (1902).

An interesting section follows about the market in passing off faked arrow-heads as the real thing.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th December 2012ce
Edited 4th December 2012ce

Latest posts for County Antrim

Showing 1-10 of 323 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Clegnagh (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

Four hundred metres north-east of Lemnagh Beg, the middle of the three related White Park Bay passage tombs, this is a survivor, visible from the road below, hanging on in there on the lip of a quarry. The landowner is a brother of the landowner at Lemnagh Beg and he duly granted us permission for a look.

A track rises up from the western end of the farmyard. The chamber can be seen from this approach. It’s small and squat and one of the three uprights keeping the capstone in place is almost collapsing into the quarry, seemingly held there by the continued downward pressure. Photographing the monument from this open-sided end of the tomb proved to be hair-raising, maybe not the most advisable action.

Clegnagh is placed lower down than both Lemnagh Beg and Magheraboy, but still the views are fantastic. The area around the monument is generally unkempt and some large boulders to the south are said to be remnants of a kerb, though it’s all pretty haphazard. All in all it’s not a place I’d highly recommend, unless like us you had to see all three.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th October 2021ce

Lemnagh Beg (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

The furthest west of the three and the second one we visited. Pulled in at the farmhouse and asked for permission to proceed which was promptly granted. Bring wellies, or other waterproof footwear – there is a lot of mud. The farmer pointed out the location to us, high to the west of his yard on a prominent knoll. The land rises to the south behind the tomb and falls steeply north beyond and towards White Park Bay.

Fourwinds reckons this is the best preserved of the three but that’s difficult to gauge in its current overgrown, unloved state. The capstone arcs over the chamber east to west but seems to be falling away to the north. It’s hard to check because of all the growth. There is evidence of some kerbstones in amongst all the gorse at the north side of the monument but overall this was a frustrating visit, any possibility of figuring out the remains of a passage or even the chamber entrance lost under nasty herbage.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th October 2021ce
Edited 19th October 2021ce

Magheraboy (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

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

Ballyvoy (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

Crockateemore is a small hill/prominence 120 metres above the foam, one and a half kilometres south-west of Fair Head and Cross passage tomb. The passage tomb here could be said to be a close relation to that at Cross, though it would have been far larger. The location is as stunning.

We did what we were told and headed north out of the hamlet of Ballyvoy all the way to the end at the farmhouse where we knocked and asked for permission. Receptions this far from home can be unpredictable. I sat in the jeep 50 metres away as the farmer listened to Thomas with utter insouciance, all the while staring at me, eventually relenting to Thomas’s simple country charm, even allowing us to drive through his yard and up to within 100 metres of the tombs.

Which came first, the court or the passage? The passage sits above the scarped edge of Crockateemore, below which lies the court tomb 30 metres distant at the south-west. All that remains is the ring of the kerb, 15 metres diameter, 40 boulders, some contiguous. There are some stones within the ring, none identifiable as anything more than a guess. But no matter, because what is important here is the location.

Rathlin lies a short 5 kilometres to the north, Knocklayd 6 to the south-west. Though you’re on farmland here, the coast stretching away to the east and the west makes the relic feel utterly maritime. Like at Fair Head there are cliffs nearby, north-facing bluffs leading down not to the sea directly, but to a narrow strip of land 20 metres above the crashing waves. Just slightly east of north of here there is a way down, a venture that shall remain unfulfilled for the moment.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
13th October 2021ce

Ticloy (Portal Tomb) — Fieldnotes

Ticloy, Tamybuck, Antynanum – there’s quite a bit going on in this neighbourhood, a nice triangle of megalithic mystery, only if you’re going to Antynanum, bring a map, which I didn’t, so I didn’t go. But Ticloy is visible from the road, and though ugly, is quite the charmer.

These mid-Antrim tombs, away from the sea, are easily accessible, mostly. We stopped a tractor on the lane below the tomb and asked for permission to visit and though he didn’t own the field, the farmer reckoned the owner wouldn’t mind us checking it out as it’s quite the popular attraction apparently. Except the field it’s in was under crop at the time of our visit.

So what to do? Well it’s not that far from the southern edge of the field so I skirted around that direction from the west, taking a few foties as I went. The crop between the tomb and the southern wall was thin enough for me to venture across to it.

Seven stones remain. Instead of the usual single capstone there’s two. Which leads one to question whether it’s a classic portal tomb at all. Further reading mentions a former court-like facade at the east. Speculation that the Antynanum court-tomb builders were experimenting with a new form while retaining some of their own tradition sounds quite convincing.

Ticloy squats there, bulky, ragged, tottering, testament to the ingenuity of the ancestors, hanging on in there despite the ever-increasing mechanisation of the society around it. You could mooch around the stones here for a bit and not regret it. Slemish away to the south-west draws the eye, focus of so many monuments in Antrim.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
5th October 2021ce

Tamybuck (Wedge Tomb) — Fieldnotes

I’d normally have some quite detailed map screenshots with me on these ventures but something happened over the last while. This was the second time in recent days when I’d forgotten to upload the feckin’ things. So even though this would be relatively easy to find, tucked in behind a wall of a small paddock about 60 metres from the road, it was like being back in the old days, relying on the OS map and a bit lost.

There’s quite a lot to see here, when you eventually find it. It’s at the east end of of a large field, west of the junction of Lisles Hill Road and Lough Road, hidden from view until you enter the field and head south-east a bit. The ground south of the gallery has been quarried, destroying the outer walling on that side. The southern inner wall of the gallery is still there, as is the northern and its outer walling.

I had only a short time here as there were cattle in the field, the kind that take a partial interest and begin a slow saunter towards you. There are many stones scattered around the gallery, possible roofstones and other orthostats. A single roofstone rests on the fill between the inner and outer walling on the northern side. I would have liked to have had a better nose around but legged it before the bovine onslaught arrived.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
4th October 2021ce

Killyglen (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

There’s a small hamlet called Millbrook just before Larne, to the left off the A8 from Belfast, a handy turn off at the roundabout avoiding the town, which we’d done on the two previous occasions heading for the Glens. Why change now? Both times we’d headed up the B148 towards Cairncastle and eventually down to the coast road – this time we took a fairly swift left up into the higher ground above Sallagh Braes and into Killyglen townland to this impressive standing stone.

The views down to the coast around Larne are supposed to be fantastic but not today – it’s overcast and dull. There’s not great parking around here and the fences are barbed and tight, surprising given the land’s only really useful for sheep farming. The stone has its own platform, standing proud above the generally heathery surroundings. It’s bulbous and rugged and 2 metres tall and worth a visit, about 50 metres from the road.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
2nd October 2021ce

Tervillin (Wedge Tomb) — Fieldnotes

It’s possible that I’d travel out of my way to visit this if it were more isolated, but in an area so rich with ancient sites, it could be easily bypassed. I hopped the field gate and inadvertently disturbed some grazing wild geese, probably domiciled in Lough na Crannagh 250 metres to the north. The mound is very truncated on all sides and has been used for field clearance. One stone remains standing on the eastern side, the rest thrown about the place. This is a survivor, just about, probably only because of the risk of prosecution, though I'm open to correction on that. ryaner Posted by ryaner
19th September 2021ce

Cross (Crannog) — Fieldnotes

Lough na Crannagh can be approached from the north and the west from the well laid out Fair Head car-park looped trails. We had spun around to the opposite, east side as we’d wanted to check out the Teervillan wedge tomb/cairn on the way. Judging from the distance of our viewpoint, this may well be outside the normal range of sites posted here. Drystone walling, which the literature says is around the whole of the ‘island’, is visible on the southside. Crannogs are thought to be generally early-medieval but given the richness of megalithic sites in the vicinity, I think this is worth posting. The area is mostly quiet and very beautiful with just the occasional car or bunch of ramblers to intrude on your imaginings. ryaner Posted by ryaner
19th September 2021ce

Cross (Passage Grave) — Fieldnotes

The peculiarities of the placement of passage tombs are particularly perplexing. Joking aside, if there is another as phenomenal as this I’ll be flabbergasted. Set 40 metres back from cliffs that are 150 metres above the channel that separates Fair Head from Rue Point on the southern tip of Rathlin Island 4 kilometres to the north, this is megalithic Antrim at its finest.

Towards the back end of this seemingly endless pandemic, we’re on our second visit to north-east Antrim in as many weeks. Six hour round-trips from Dublin are best enjoyed in the summer months and here we were in early August, the season fallen 6 weeks ago. The week previous the sun had been splitting the stones – not so today – low cloud skittered here and there as we tried to cram in as much as possible, not sure whether we’d manage another return trip.

Fair Head car park is situated in a farmyard about 500 metres south-east of the tomb. It’s a paid car park with an honesty box. The couple of quid we spent was well worth it – the car park is a trail-head for a series of walks around the head and the signage was educational and helpful. The walk up to the tomb is a mixture of road and then across rocky pasture with some well maintained stiles. Doonmore Fort is an interesting feature 300 metres along the lane, probable remains of a Norman motte. Beyond this Rathlin peeps over the horizon.

Arriving in the vicinity of the tomb I spotted the low circular cairn. The satellite map at the NISMR came in handy – this wouldn’t be easiest to find without it. The passage and chamber are small, but very well defined. The passage faces north, aligned onto Rathlin. The short walk to the edge of the cliff and the truly breathtaking view down to the sea and then across to the island is close to the finest memory I had on what turned out to be 4 trips to Antrim. The monument, though slight in comparison to some, is still one of those that tugs at the heartstrings, a reminder of what we once were, situated there quite lonely, ignored by most, waiting on you to rediscover and appreciate it. Stunning.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
19th September 2021ce
Showing 1-10 of 323 posts. Most recent first | Next 10