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

Get the TMA Images feed
Latest Posts

Showing 1-50 of 111,841 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Robin Hood's Arbour (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

Visited 23.5.15

Come off the A404 at junction 9B. Take first exit at small roundabout onto Henley Road (north). Then take the first right into Pinkey Road and after 200m you will find a N.T. car park on the left (Pinkey Wood). Park here, walk back to Henley road and turn right (north). You will then come to a turning on the left which goes under the A404. Immediately the other side is a bridleway on the left. Take this and continue walking south along a path which runs parallel to the A404. Take any of the paths to the right which will lead you to the site.

Although this may sound long and complicated it is only a 15 minute walk from the car park to Robin's place. (Although I doubt the famous Mr Hood ever set foot here!).

I was initially attracted to this site as it appears on the AA road atlas map. How the AA chooses which sites to put on their map is another mystery altogether! Although I am surprised these are the first field notes to appear.

The site is easy to miss and if the ferns were any higher of the N.T. hadn't erected a handy sign I would have probably walked straight past it.

There is not a lot to see. A low circular bank at most 1m high (most of it less than this) and a shallow ditch.

If you are looking for somewhere to have a nice walk through the trees then this is a good place to come (it is very pretty) but if it is substantial prehistoric remains you are after then this isn't! Still, at least it is still with us so that can't be such a bad thing :)
Posted by CARL
24th May 2015ce

Church Hill Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 23.5.14

With children in tow we opted for the (sometimes rough) drive up the hill, past the infamous Hell Fire Club caves, and parked in the large car park at the top of the hill, next to the church of St Lawrence.

There were several dog walkers about on this overcast but warm day and myself, Dafydd and Sophie headed towards the church, passing the large boulder on the way.

The church itself was locked and looking around the graveyard there wasn't (at first glance) much to see. However, it didn't take long to get your 'eye in' and the familiar low circular inner face of the rampart could be made out.

We then went back outside and walked down the path to the left (when facing the church). It was then that the true preservation of the ditches/ramparts became apparent - approximately 2m high. We rummaged about in the undergrowth and in places (which were worn by recent human feet) you could see how the bank was made up of lumps of chalk and flint.

There was a N.T. sign erected which said the site is going to be cleared of trees to improve the view across the landscape. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not?

Despite initial reservations I am glad I visited this site. If you do plan a visit, watch your suspension when you near the car park!
Posted by CARL
24th May 2015ce

Pudding Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 23.5.15

Easy to spot, next to the main roundabout when driving through Princes Riseborough. It is outside a toilet block, next to a newsagent. There is plenty of parking available.

The stone is a little less than 1m square and moss has started to grow around its top.

It is good to see that this stone is appreciated by the locals and has been given the presentation it deserves.

Well worth a look when in the area.
Posted by CARL
24th May 2015ce

Scrahanard (Wedge Tomb) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Scrahanard</b>Posted by muller muller Posted by muller
23rd May 2015ce

Bog (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

A collection of new motifs uncovered today . tiompan Posted by tiompan
23rd May 2015ce

Bog (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Bog</b>Posted by tiompan<b>Bog</b>Posted by tiompan<b>Bog</b>Posted by tiompan<b>Bog</b>Posted by tiompan<b>Bog</b>Posted by tiompan<b>Bog</b>Posted by tiompan tiompan Posted by tiompan
23rd May 2015ce

Cerrig y Gof (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by A R Cane A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
22nd May 2015ce

Carn Bica (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Carn Bica</b>Posted by A R Cane A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
22nd May 2015ce

Bache Hill and the Whimble (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Bache Hill and the Whimble</b>Posted by Clovis Posted by Clovis
22nd May 2015ce

The Timoney Stones (Standing Stones) — Miscellaneous

Nenagh Guardian - 18.12.1954

13 - Timoney Carved Stone
This carved stone comes from Timoney and was once thought to be a Cross Shaft but expert opinion suggests that it is an ancient stone of secular origin and of the same type as the Tybroughny Stone.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
22nd May 2015ce

Behagullane (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Behagullane</b>Posted by bogman bogman Posted by bogman
21st May 2015ce

Ardcroney (Portal Tomb) — Folklore

Nenagh Guardian - 22-08-1936

About a mile to the east of Ardcroney in a district called Lough Fada (Loch Fada), which according to tradition, was visited by St. Patrick. The place was, as the name indicates, at one time covered with water, but it is now quite dry. The bed of the river, which drained the lake into the Shannon, can still be traced. Faint with hunger, the saint was one day, according to legend, passing the lake in which three men were engaged fishing. Though hard at work for hours they had caught no fish till a few minutes before St. Patrick's arrival. Explaining his plight to the fishermen, he asked them for some fish to relieve his hunger but they refused. He thereupon changed them into stones. Three large pillars of stone, each about six feet high and four feet wide, are still pointed out as confirming the truth of the legend.
Druid's Altar
As is the case in most legends, there is probably a stratum of truth in the story. According to Dr. Healy, the saint visited Rathurles, about three miles distant, on his journey northward from Cashel. From Rathurles he proceeded to Terryglass, and Ardcroney would be in a direct line between these two places; near Loch Fada are the remains of a large fort which is still called "The Doon" (An Dun), where a king or chieftain resided in olden times. It was St. Patrick's policy to convert the ruler of the district first, and having done so in Ardcroney, he would probably proceeded to Loch Fada to view the Druid's altar - for such undoubtedly were the three large stones. According to tradition, a number of smaller pillar stones formed a circular enclosure round the altar but these were removed by the planters for building purposes. It is also stated that the smaller stones were covered with rude inscriptions on the edges. These were probably the Ogham characters as used by the Irish till St. Patrick's time."
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
21st May 2015ce

Maen du'r Arddu (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

I've been puzzling over the old maps. The grid reference given is where the stone's marked even now. I was excited to find this photo on Geograph - doesn't it match the description well? But perhaps that's what rocks look like round there - I think it's not quite on the spot where the grid reference is. So that's confusing. We need an on-the-spot reporter.

Though I'm not sure it's worth the risk of finding out if the rumours are true. Or maybe it is. Might be untrue, and if it is true, you've got a 50:50 chance.
In a stony place, called Yr Arddu, Black Ham, pretty high in Cwm brwynog farm, on the ascent of Snowdon hill, there is a very large loose stone, called Maen du yr Arddu, i.e. The black Stone of Arddu; upon the top of which there is another lesser stone, seemingly as if it had been raised there by hands.

It is said, that if two persons were to sleep a night on the top of this stone, in the morning one would find himself endued with the gift of poetry, and the other would become insane.

And accordingly it is affirmed, that in a frolic two men, one called Huwcyn Sion y Canu, and the other Huw Belissa, agreed to sleep on the top of it one summer night: in the morning one found himself inspired with the celestial muse, and the other was quite bereaved of his senses.

It seems that both of these were of the lower order of minstrels, and very probably both of them drunk when they slept there: one, it should seem (having the appellation y Canu, Singer or Songster added to his name, and being addicted to singing) found his spirits in the morning in an exhilerated state, and the other not quite recovered from his intoxication. Imagination might have co-operated, so as to make him who was cheerful to fancy that he was really inspired, and to give the other an idea that he was really mad.
Or: how to kill a romantic idea stone cold dead with the application of reason.

From Observations in the Snowdon Mountains by William Williams (1802).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th May 2015ce

Bwlch-y-Ddeufaen (Standing Stones) — Folklore

An early telling of the tale. No mention of the hole. But you can apparently use the stones to judge the size of the giant.
... there is a wide difference between [sepulchral] heaps, and those on the highest summits of these hills; the latter are formed of large building stones, the former chiefly of small stones, such as can be carried by hand;

which I think is sufficient proof that they were intended for different purposes; one in memory of the dead deposited under them, the other the ruins of temporary buildings, which sheltered persons on the watch, who were to give the country signals, by lighting fire at the approach of an enemy, in time of war.

And besides, those on the summits are commonly known by some name, such as Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Ddafydd, Carnedd y Filiast, &c. the others seldom any names given them, unless they are named from fabulous events; such as that on Bwlch y Ddeufaen, which is called Barclodiad y Gawres, literally, The Giantess's Apron full. The tale is thus:

A huge Giant, in company with his wife, travelling towards the island of Mona, with an intention of settling amongst the first inhabitants that had removed there; and having been informed that there was but a narrow channel which divided it from the continent, took up two large stones, one under each arm, to carry with him as a preparatory for making a bridge over this channel; and his lady had her apron filled with small stones for the same purpose: but meeting a man on this spot with a large parcel of old shoes on his shoulders, the Giant asked him, How far it was to Mona?

The man replied, that it was so far, that he had worn out those shoes in travelling from Mona to that place. The Giant on hearing this dropt down the stones, one on each side of him, where they now stand upright, about a hundred yards or more distant from each other; the space between them was occupied by this Goliah's [sic] body. His mistress at the same time opened her apron, and dropt down the contents of it, which formed this heap.

This and such like tales, though modelled and modernized perhaps from age to age, according to the genius and the language of the times, were, I am of opinion, originally intended as hyperboles, to magnify the prowess and magnanimity of renowned persons; from which we may conclude, that these heaps, especially those that have pillars near them, are very ancient, even prior to the Christian era.
From Observations in the Snowdon Mountains by William Williams (1802).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th May 2015ce

Caer Bach (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Climbing directly up the grassy slopes of Tal y Fan’s southern flank, we pass a ruined homestead and regain a proper path. The map shows some cairns here, but we fail to see anything obvious. [Postie’s subsequent visit shows we weren’t missing much.]

Caer Bach now rises in front of us, flat-topped and dotted with gorse. Just before we get there, we come across a very strange “structure”, consisting of a huge oval boulder apparently placed over some supporting stones to form a small open-fronted chamber, which appears to have been lined with smaller stones. It looks constructed rather than natural, but what it is we have no idea. There’s so much going on in this area that it’s difficult not to imagine it having some significance.

Tal-y-Fan’s summit, crossed by a typically improbable drystone wall, now looms directly above us. It looks almost within touching distance from here, but it’s not on the menu today. Instead we head for the fort. The earthworks aren’t the most impressive, but as with every other place we’ve been today the setting is superb. The views extend to Pen-y-Gaer (Caerhun) and Cerrig-y-Ddinas, so whether the occupants were friend or foe they were certainly observable. It’s a neat and compact site, feeling quite sheltered in the lea of the mountain’s flank, despite its lofty position.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th May 2015ce

Maen-y-Bardd (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Even the track feels ancient, a deep green channel between collapsing drystone walls enlivened by vibrant purple foxgloves at this time of year. We pass Ffon-y-cawr, leaning crazily on the other side of the wall. Another one to save for a proper visit, because from here we can see the main objective for today.

Maen-y-Bardd is at once bigger and smaller than I expected it to be. It’s perfectly proportioned and looks out over the wide valley of Afon Conwy, the river itself winding lazily through the centre. And there are mountains, and hills, and little fields, and a huge cloud-filled sky. What a place.

“Stone out of song” goes a poem I hold very close to my heart. But did the song come first, or the stone? Was a bard buried here, or did the place make poets of its visitors?

We stop for a good while. Even the dogs seem content to sit here.

At length an interruption comes in the form of a farmer in his tractor, cutting the bracken in the field next door. The spell is broken. We head uphill.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th May 2015ce

Cae Coch (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Cae Coch standing stone is first, just a short pull up a bracken and grass covered slope from the track. It’s one of those eternally pleasing stones with a completely different aspect depending on which side you view it from. The broad face is turned towards the track and is perpendicular to Pen-y-Gaer (Caerhun) hillfort, but side-on the profile is slender with a bend in the middle. The views across the Conwy valley are worth the visit alone. An unexpectedly good site.

As we approached the stone the blue sky had turned unexpectedly dark, and now looks like night has arrived early. It rains, just for a moment. And then it’s gone, so that by the time we regain the track much of the blue has returned.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th May 2015ce

Bwlch-y-Ddeufaen (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

The two stones that give the pass its name are a big step up in size from the ankle biters of Cerrig Pryfaid. Both are taller than me, and there’s some serious girth going on too. The tapering southern stone is a beauty, Blossom and I struggle to reach round it with our combined outstretched arms. There’s a small, shallow drill hole on one side, as if someone foolishly attempted to convert this into a gatepost and was struck dead for their temerity before getting very far. I’ll leave Rhiannon to find some suitably doomy folkore to confirm the point.

By contrast, the northern stone is flat-topped and appears to shine out its whiteness against the dark heather. On closer inspection, the whiteness is entirely illusory, the stone isn’t quartz at all but a light grey. There are two further, shorter uprights close to the northern stone, one of which is indeed a quartzy rock. Their placement isn’t obvious but reminds me somewhat of a scaled-up version of the little followers of Maen Mawr in South Wales. In amongst the chocks at the base of the northern stone is one very dark rock, a matt coal black in colour. It’s not clear whether this is a later addition as it doesn’t seem to be doing much chocking.

We don’t realise that there’s a fan of much smaller uprights close to the southern stone, and in truth a visit in summer vegetation isn’t the best time to look for them. It is a great time to admire the purple flowers adorning the heather though.

Once again, the setting is excellent. The views are similar to those from Cerrig Pryfaid, but with added elevation giving a fresh perspective to the outcrops of Pen y Castell. The stones are not set on the crest of the pass, so there’s no view northwards to speak of. Instead they turn their impassive faces resolutely southeast, looking down the valley of the Tafalog, heading off to join the great Afon Conwy three or four miles away. Surrounded now by pylons and cables, yet they retain their dignity against these huge, transitory metal giants. Time is on their side after all.

I’m really taken with these stones. The sense of deep time seems to hang around them, from the ageless mountains, through the monument builders, the tramp of Roman soldiers, into a hinterland of iron and wire. Rather than detracting, the pylons add to this sense that we’re standing in the midst of a palimpsest, layers of time and people still there, just below the surface. And perhaps we’re a shadowy presence in earlier and later times, too.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th May 2015ce

Cae Coch (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Cae Coch</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th May 2015ce

Carn Brea (Causewayed Enclosure) — Folklore

Is this too confusing or what? Not only are there two Carn Breas, they are both near wells connected with St Uny / St Eunius.
At the foot of Carn Brea Hill, and not far from the Church of Redruth, is a well dedicated to St. Eunius. A stone cross formerly stood near to it.

Now it is a rugged little well, with no regular building. A moor-stone covers it, and round it is a sort of curb of rough granite, with an iron bar running along. At the back is a newer stone, bearing the date 1842.

There used to be ascribed to the water the virtue that whoever was baptised in it would never be ignominiously hanged; but now no recollection of this exists, nor reverence for its sanctity. The water is much used, because it is considered better than "pumpen" water.
Ancient and Holy Wells of Cornwall by M and L Quiller-Couch (1894). The church of St Euny is easy to pick out from an old map, but not the well. But there are the interesting sounding watery features of "Giant's Well" and "House of Water" on the hill.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th May 2015ce

Bedd Arthur (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by A R Cane A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
19th May 2015ce

Carn Brea (Causewayed Enclosure) — Miscellaneous

Nighthawking - not a recent phenomena (since morons have always existed). I liked his restrained anger:
The hearths and benches of this interesting [hut] circle, which I left complete in the evening, were destroyed before 5.30 the next morning - no doubt by some of those who, fancying that no one could be foolish enough to dig unless he was finding treasure, haunted us during the whole summer, and destroyed much that would otherwise have been of permanent interest. One day I found they had removed the turf from another circle, for the sake of destroying the cooking-hole - a procedure that almost justifies language that would relight the fire.
From the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall v13 (1895-8) - in an article by Thurstan Collins Peter.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th May 2015ce
Edited 20th May 2015ce

Bedd Arthur (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by A R Cane<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by A R Cane A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
19th May 2015ce

Avebury (Stone Circle) — News

Road near Avebury stone circle recommended for closure

Old news I know.

A road near Avebury stones in Wiltshire could be permanently closed to protect the World Heritage Site (WHS).
scubi63 Posted by scubi63
19th May 2015ce

Stamford Hill (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Folklore

This is an Iron Age Round above the River Neet near Stratton. Centuries after it was built, the eponymous Civil War battle was fought here. The Earl of Stamford (Parliamentarian) got there first with his troops and set up on the hill, allegedly using the round as an emplacement for their guns. But despite having twice as many soldiers as the Royalists, they lost dismally.

Apparently Rough Tor and Brown Willy are "conspicuous though distant objects" from this point.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th May 2015ce

Rathurles — Folklore

Nenagh Guardian - 30-04-1910

Another piece here titled - The history of Nenagh - Instructive Lecture By Eminent Nenagh Clergyman

The most interesting piece in it to me is "In the beginning of the 2nd century of the Christian Era the province of Munster extended to the parish of Laun Eala or Lynally, in the King's County, in the barony of Ballycowan, about a mile south-east of Tullamore, in the O'Molloy's country. It was then called Aenach Cholman. About that time the Ard Righ of Ireland, Turthal Teachtmar, took possession of that part of the King's County. The Munster Aenach was then transferred to Ormond. This event occurred in the year 130, A.D. This, therefore is the first date in the history of Nenagh. In the year 1930 you can celebrate the 18th centenary of your history as a town and place of note in Munster. Nenagh was a place of much interest in this country when London was a small village. The Aenach of this town had two names - Aenach Thete (pronounced Thebe), which means the Fair of the Flight, and, a'so, the name Aenach Urmumhain (The Fair of Ormond.) It is not recorded why the Aenach was called Thete, and I can only conjecture that this name may have arisen from the fact that the Munster Aenach was removed from its original situation in King's County, and brought to Ireland in North Tipperary."

Nenagh Guardian - 21-04-1917

This is titled "History of Nenagh" and contains the following "The circumstances which led up to this battle are the following: At this time two remarkable kings lived in Ireland: Malachy King of Meath and Ard Righ of Ireland and Brian Boru, King of Munster. Brian was at this time coming into prominence because of his ability and his success against the Danes. In the election of the Ard-Righ or High King of Ireland, the most powerful provincial King was sometimes chosen. A jealously existed between Malachy and Brian, who afterwards succeeded in dethroning Malachy and becoming Ard-Righ. The career of Brian was as follows: "He first became King of Thomond, North Munster; he next became provincial King of all Munster his third step upwards was to claim sovereignty over the Southern half of Ireland. Leath-Moghs, according to an ancient division of the country as described above. This claim of Brian excited the jealousy of Malachy; if Brian ruled Leinster and Munster, he might become too strong for Malachy. It would seem therefore, that it was a struggle between the West of Ireland under Malachy, against Munster, which eventuated in the Battle of Nenagh. In that age it was custom to inaugurate the Kings of Munster under a great oak-tree, at a place called Magh Adhair, now Moyre, near Tulla, in the County Clare. This tree Malachy cut down and had it taken up by the roots, using the timber of the oak to roof his palace. Brian determined to avenge the insult offered to his family in the cutting down of the coronation-tree. He led an army in the boats up the Shannon, entered Meath, and burned the royal rath of Dunna Sgiath. The timber of Brian's oak was in the roof of this rath, and Brian had the satisfaction of burning the timber which Malachy had the trouble of cutting down. This act of Brian was the immediate cause of the Battle of Nenagh. Malachy was absent in Connaught at the time, he re-crossed the Shannon, marched South, and burned Aenach Thete. After this victory Malachy attacked the Danes near Dublin, and carried away the collar of gold of Tomar, a Scandinavian Chief, celebrated by Moore in the Melodies. It is satisfactory to recall that three years after the Battle of Nenagh Brian and Malachy were united, to the great joy of the Irish. Their combined forces attacked the Danes of Dublin in the year 998 A.D and plundered a great part of their weath, previous to the battle of Clontarf. Brian was acknowledged by Malachy as King of Leath Mogha, Southern Ireland and Suzerain of Leinster. O'Halloran gives the Leinster tribute to Brian as 300 gold-handled swords, 300 cows and brass yokes, 300 steeds and 300 purple cloaks. In the Battle of Nenagh perished Domhnall, on of Sorcan, and uncle of Brian and six hundred men fell with him. Domhnall was Lord of Muskerry and Ui Forga or Ormond. The Second Burning of Nenagh. Sixty years after Nenagh had been burned by Malachy it was burned a second time by Diarmuid, King of Leinster, in the year 1056. This event is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters, 1056AD. Diarmuid the son of Maolnambo, marched on a predatory excursion into Munster and burned Dun Mac na n-Inguir (Dungar) near Roscrea, Aenach Thetey and Dun Furicadrain. The same event is recorded in the Annals of Innisfallen in the year 1959. Diarmuid Mac Maolnambo, marched with a ravaging army into Munster and burnt Dun Iongar, Aenach Thete and Dun Fuaradrain. Turlough O'Brien was with him on that occasion. (Dungar, which Torlough burnt, is situate in the O'Carroll country and probably the other Dun, mentioned in the record, was the name of another royal residence of the O'Carroll's).

Nenagh Guardian - 31-12-1932

An unusual piece titled "The Fairies of Munster" -"Did you ever hear of a place called Nenagh?" he asked "Yes" said I "I have heard of it" Well "said he "I was born and reared within a few miles of that town" "It is a fine town, I suppose" said I "Well, it is and it isn't" he replied. "It is a great place for fairs, to be sure. In fact, the original name of the town was Aonach, which meant a fair. "At one time there used to be a great fair at a place called Tyone, a mile or so outside the town, every 1st August. In fact that date was known locally as the "1st of Tyone". It was not far from a rath, known as Rathurles, and the fairies from there gave so much trouble at the fairs that they had to change the fair to the town." "Not into the town surely" said I, "there must be a fair green in such an important town". "There is not; then" said he "The cattle are in the very streets and right up against shop windows" I suppose the idea is "said I "that the shopkeepers want to keep the trade at their doors". "By no means" said my friend "but they are afraid if they hold the fair outside the town the fairies might interfere with it, for they are averse to the smoke and dirt of a town. They love the fresh air, and that is the reason there is no fair green in Naenagh". "Well now" said he "it was in this district I was in the fairies and next time we meet I will tell you about my experiences during the seven happy years I spent amongst them" - it is signed off as "Old Boy".

Nenagh Guardian - 24-04-1943

Old Nenagh Place Names - it looks to be by D.F.G who I assume is Dr Dermot F. Gleeson - the most interesting bit relating to Rathurles is as follows "There remains the place name of the 1673 Deed "Lisnenagh". In 1703 it is "Lissnemogh" but I think this is clearly a mistranscription. It is of much interest in the form "Lisnenagh" because taking its area (30 acres only), and its place in the Deeds in immediate conjunction with Rapplagh, I think there can be no doubt that here we have an old and most valuable and suggestive alias for the great triple ring fort of Rathurles - forerunner of Nenagh and original home and "strong wattled rath" of the old "Kings of Ormond". I would regard it as a most valuable contribution to local history if anything can be added to this either from record or tradition. Does anyone remember Rathurles being called "Liss Nenagh"? Per contra is there a "Lissnemogh" near Rapplagh or any other fort to which the name could apply? One must remember that Rapplagh in 1700 stretched over and included South Hill and probably included Shean across the road. Here (at Shean) are two forts with two more near the road. Does anyone know the field names of any of them? This form "Lisnenagh" in an original script of 1673, is quite new to me and very strongly suggests Rathurles for a number of reasons. Ballygaggery of the 1703 Deed is not mentioned in 1673 but appears in a variety of records though missing from the 1849 O. Sheet. It is given as containing only 33 acres in 1703 but in the Civil Surveys appears in the Upper Ormond part of Kilruane Parish as a more extensive townland of 108 Irish acres and, since all the Civil Survey acreages are an underestimate by at least one fifth, it must have been once quite an extensive piece of ground. Its bound (per the Civil Survey) are "On the S.W. with a muddy lough in this parish called Lough Duff, on the north by the parish of Ballygibbon and Killownye (now Killowney") "on ye east and south by the lands of Rathurles in this parish". This puts it between Rapplah and Liscarode and perhaps the name is remembered there. The name appears to mean the "townland of the cracks or fissures". Where the "Commons of Nenagh" containing 400 acres in Lower Ormond barony may have been is none too clear. I suggest that they lay to the north west of the present "Commonage" down to and probably across the Limerick road. There is no field name for this area on the 1840 O. Sheet, and of course the Limerick road was not there in 1703. The 1673 Deed finally contains the curious name "Allmodein" which does not appear in 1703. Of this in the form given, I can make nothing but no doubt a little patience would solve the problem. It may be a mistranscription though it appears in this form in the original and it is hard to suggest an alternative spelling."

Nenagh Guardian - 14-02-1953

There some debate going on at this stage about making a coat of arms for Nenagh. Dr Dermot F Gleeson had this to say regarding Rathurles "Nenagh, of course, as a centre of population is not older than the castle - its predecessor is undoubtedly the huge triple rath at Rathurles (with a 15th century church built inside ring). The stone gate piers are still there and date to at least 2,000 BC. This is one of the most remarkable earth forts in all Ireland, though I fear few Nenagh people ever visit there. I have shown it to many of our leading archaeologist who are all of the opinion that its was the central rath and place of inauguration of the Muscraige of Muscraige Thire (now Ormond) long before the Dal Cais came and indeed back to B.C."

Nenagh Guardian - 11-04-1953

There is a piece about lecture given by Dr Dermot F Gleeson on "Who were the first inhabitants of the town".
Dr Gleeson is described as a native of the town and "as they all knew from the reading of newspapers and magazines, was an authority on the subject".
A few interesting quotes from it "At Rathurles they would find two things in addition to the earth-forts. They would find places marked with stones, and they were remarkable stones and must be a few tons in weight. There were in fact gate piers at the entrance into the fort, and they could see they were prepared to hang a gate. It was a huge triple-ringed earth-fort and it stood in the middle of the Knockalton, Sheane, Rathfalla and Rathmartin district. That was the centre of population before Nenagh was heard of. The fort at Rathurles was a magnificent one and was one of the finest earth-forts in the whole country. He (Dr. Gleeson had shown it to Dr. Leask, to Professor O'Riordan, and to Dr. John Ryan, and they all agreed there was nothing like it in the country except the one near Armagh." He goes on to say "The stones were Megalothic and went back to Middle Stone Age, 2,000 years before Christ. As late as the fourteenth century they were mentioned in the Ormond Deeds, and in the disputes between the O'Kennedy's and the Butlers. In the middle of the fort there was a big church, 15th century. What was the church doing there in the middle of the earth-fort? Rathurles was a place of such significance the O'Kennedy's put the church in the ring to mark what a place of distinction it was in olden times."

Nenagh Guardian - 30-06-1962

Historical Places of Interest - "Rathurles - 3 ring with "Remarkable Stones" which are the gate piers of the ancient entrance judged by Dr. H. G. Leask to be "almost megalithic".

Nenagh Guardian - 06-05-1967

Origins of Nenagh from the Ancient Aenach by Rev. John A Gleeson. The most interesting part in terms of Rathurles is as follows "O'Donovan says that this parish is called in Irish Aenach Urmhumhan (pronounced Uroon), which means the Fair of Ormond. He adds "We are not able to ascertain the period at which this name was first given, but we have reason to believe that it is of extreme antiquity this name is given in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 994 A.D. In Gough the following reference is made to Nenagh: It is probable that this place called Aenach Thite (Thehe) by the Four Masters, and Aenach Teide in the Annals of Innisfallen, is Nenagh. There is no direct evidence of their identity, but it may be inferred from the manner in which Aenach Thete is mentioned in connection with Urmumhan, that, in all likelihood, it lay in the same territory; and we know of no other aenach in the same territory except Nenagh, which is still called by the people Aenach Urmhumhan" It seems strange that Gough did not know that Roscrea was situated in ancient Ormond, which formerly included the whole of North Tipperary, and the two baronies in King's County which lie between Roscrea and Birr. One of those names may have belonged to the Roscrea Aenach and the other to the Aenach at Nenagh. Aenach Thete means the Fair of the Flight and Aenach Teide means the Fair of the Rope. This name Thete belongs to the Aenach at Nenagh; an explanation of the name may be found, perhaps , in the early history of the fair. The first establishment of the Aenach at Nenagh is thus described in Miss Green's "The Making of Ireland and its Undoing": Previous to the year 130 AD the province of Munster extended to the parish of Lann Eala or Lynally in the barony of Ballycowan, King's County, about a mile south-east from Tullamore. It was in this parish that the Munster Aenagh was held before the year 130. It was called Aenach Cholmain. In the year 130 the Ard Righ, Tuathal Teachtmhar, took possession of that part of the King's County. The Munster Aenach was then transferred to Nenagh in the baronies of Upper and Lower Ormond. It was called Aenach Teite and in later times Aenach Urmhumhan. Nenagh as an Aenach, therefore, began its course in the year 130, close on eitghteen centuries from our time (1915). It was probably a place of note before 130. The original Aenach was situated in Fercal in the O'Molloy country. In after times it became a tribal Aenach under the presidency of the O'Molloy. The change of situation from Fercal to Ormond may probably have given this fair the name of Aenach Thite, the Fair of the Flight. The town of Nenagh, being situated on the border line of the two Ormonds, in a level plain, and convenient to the great highway of ancient times, the Shannon; situated also on one of the five great roads which led from Tara in ancient Meath to the south, was specially suited as a place for the Munster Aenach."

Nenagh Guardian - 16-04-1977

There was a reprint of "Nenagh and its Neighbourhood" by EH Sheehan and a review was done of it in the Nenagh Guardian by George Cunningham.
A bit of background on Dr Ned Sheehan "born in Summerhill in 1882; although he left Nenagh at an early age, for school in the first place and then for the Royal Army Medical Corps in the World War, he never lost his affection for his town and countryside and returned always during holiday time. Of the book Dermot Gleeson wrote in 1952 "It attracted a great deal of attention amongst the professional historians because nothing like it had ever been done before. He describes Nenagh street by street, traces its inhabitants house by house, goes into the country about and tell the story of each of the 'great houses' built in Georgian times, and sets down all the Nenaghmen of the past 200 years who gained fame either amongst their fellows or in the world at large" Mr Cunningham goes on to the review "The amount of research, most of it a primary nature, necessary to compile a publication of this type is almost a life's work. This must be added to intimate knowledge and a feel for the locality, not forgetting the footslogging to ruins, graveyards and other places of historic and scenic interest. That is was a labour of love is evident and Dr Sheehan is lucky that the same dedication is inherent in those who edited this edition." Skipping on he says "But to get back to the book under review. Dr Sheehan's work will never become an academic historical source for the area and this for two main reasons. Although the book teems with primary research not sources (other than general ones as Registry of Deeds etc) are given. This is really a pity; future historians will have to try to research the same ground once more; and secondly Dr Sheehan may have had access to estate and family papers, the whereabouts of which today are unknown."

Nenagh Guardian - 24-05-1980

A conference was held in Nenagh by the "Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement" it goes on to say they visited Rathurles and had this to say "The triple bank enclosure at Rathurles, although it is one of the most imposing in the country, is only one of five such forts in the Nenagh neighbourhood; others are situated south of the town, Without excavation it is not possible to date the monument, so it is purely conjectural to describe it as a prehistoric ritual centre, a habitation site of the Iron Age peoples, a prestigious inauguration place of the Celts or the assembly place for the great Fair of Ormond - the Aonach of Urmhumhan. The stone piers remain the enigma that they always were, although many reasons - both weird and practical - were put forward for their locations. The O'Kennedy private chapel in the ring-fort enclosure is unique. This dates to the late 15th century, has battered walls, some window decoration and little other dating evidence. Rathurles is one of Ireland's prime sites. We are lucky that it is owned by a family who appreciate its importance."

Nenagh Guardian - 07-09-1985

What's in a placename?
"Magheranenagh similarly at first sight suggests the plain of the fair, machaire (a derivative of magh) and aonaigh. But the ear queries this. The local pronunciation is Moher/mugher, and the Irish mother is defined as a ruined fort, or a cluster of trees or bushes - a typical growth on such a disused dwelling place. the ordnance sheet shows two such sites of settlement in the townland; one is visible from Ashley Park filling station, looking right or east with one's back to Nenagh. If the conclusion is the fort of the fair, it seems to lend credence to a hypothesis recently put forward that this may have been the location of Aenagh/Aonach Urmhumhan, the great fair of Ormond, given the intensive settlement pattern in the Ardcroney area revealed by archaeologists in co-operation with local people in 1977. Incidentally, the speculation by Rev. John Gleeson that Rathurles (rath durlas, the strong fort) was the original site of Anonach Urmhumhan is no more than a guess and not a provable fact as some writers appear to believe. Lisatunny, closer to An Aonach (Nenagh itself) and not much less impressive than the great triple rings of Rathurles, has as good a case to be considered. Just as the rath, a fort and durlas, a strong fort give a double emplasis to the size and strength of one site, so do lios, a fort and sonnach, a rampart, do likewise for the other. In Joyce's words, the names Lissatunna and Lissatunny in Clare, Galway, Tipperary and Westmeath 'indicate that at each of these places there was a lis or fort defended by a circumvallation of unusual magnitude (Vol. II p.220). One would require a line through a reputable national historian to the ancient Irish manuscripts of evidence that a fair - a hosting for trade and sport at least - was inevitably held near a king's residence, before being convinced of the possibilities of either Rathurles or Lissatunny. To the contrary, F.J. Byrne states the site was 'normally an ancient tribal cemetery' - perhaps swinging the argument back to Maheranenagh. Either line of thought ignores the most obvious possibility; that the great fair of Ormond was held at the spot which bears its name, the site of the present town. It is close and central to a circle of settlement sites including those mentioned to the south and south-west. It is beside the strongest source of water around, the Nenagh river. To support the theory one has to argue that signs of such a gathering would have been built over by the medieval town and religious houses."

Interestingly the official translation of Maheranenagh is the "plain of the fair" -
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
19th May 2015ce

The Giantess' Apronful (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

From stone circle to cairn. Barclodiad y Gawres is a good size (15-20m irregular diameter), composed of large cobbles with a central scoop. It’s dotted here and there with clumps of stonecrop, the pink-white five pointed flowers a splash of summer brightness against the grey stones. We entirely fail to see the cist, or either of the other cairns that are supposedly close by. A little way to the southeast we come across a small arrangement of stones, which look like they’ve been placed deliberately but not as anything obviously identifiable. Blossom’s dogs find nice big boulders to stand on and survey the area.

The visual focus is the prominent Bwlch-y-Ddeufaen standing stones, visible from here, nestled in the v-shaped pass between the ridges of the Carneddau and Foel Lwyd. The flanking pylons fail to detract from the setting, despite their best efforts.

Elsewhere this cairn would be worth a proper stop, but here it’s probably the least arresting of the day’s sites. And we can see the next one already, so it’s time to head off.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
18th May 2015ce
Edited 19th May 2015ce

Cerrig Pryfaid (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

It’s always exciting to start the day with a stone circle, especially one you’ve not been to before. Composed of diminutive stones, Cerrig Pryfaid is certainly no Avebury in purely megalithic terms. But the setting elevates it to something quite special.

The near-perfect circle sits in an amphitheatre of rock, broken only to the southeast where Pen y Gaer overlooks the wide sweep of the fertile Conwy Valley. Even here the longer view is filled with rank upon rank of high hills. The southwestern prospect is entirely blocked by the towering wall of the Carneddau mountains, crowned by Bronze Age cairns on the summits of Carnedd y Ddelw and Drum. To the north Foel Lwyd, the western buttress of the Tal y Fan ridge, rises in a jagged jumble of boulders and outcrops.

Two small outliers stand to the west of the circle, both with tantalising sunrise alignments (midwinter, autumn equinox). But today it’s getting towards midday, in July. So we make do with the earthlier delights of the landscape and views before heading back towards the Pass and our next site.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
18th May 2015ce
Edited 19th May 2015ce

Callaigh Berra's House (Passage Grave) — News

Slieve Gullion: Volunteers help repair ancient cairn

A group of volunteers has helped to repair a 5,000-year-old burial cairn on one of Northern Ireland's most significant mountains.

Around 30 of them trekked to the top of Slieve Gullion in south Armagh at the weekend to carry out the work, under the supervision of an archaeologist.

They helped to fix damage done to the huge passage grave by the weather and increasing numbers of hill walkers.

Stones had become dislodged from the top of the ancient cairn.

As a result, the entrance to the site was in danger of being blocked.

The burial chamber is lined up to illuminate with the light from the setting sun of the winter solstice on 21 December every year.

ryaner Posted by ryaner
18th May 2015ce

Maen Penddu (Standing Stone / Menhir) — News

Maen Penddu defaced with Cross

GGAT have reported that someone has scratched a cross into the surface of Maen Penddu.

Not dissimilar from the cross on one of the stones at The Druid's Circle nearby. Seems there's still some people who think pagan monuments need to be "Christianised"
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
18th May 2015ce

Bosporthennis 'Beehive Hut' (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Bosporthennis 'Beehive Hut'</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead Mr Hamhead Posted by Mr Hamhead
17th May 2015ce

Carn Fadryn (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

There is free parking for nigh on a dozen cars by the church, south of the fort, as parking spots go it's a good one, on one side is Carn Fadryn itself and on the other is the rest of the Lleyn peninsula, for those who elect to stay in the car it at least has a good view.
On the other side of the church go up a lane that goes up to the covered reservoir, go through a gate turn right and follow the thin but well worn path, it goes all the way (baby) to the top.
Near the top we go through the southern entrance, the wall goes off to the right and round a corner and left it continues up hill towards the rocky summit. The childrens guide to climbing mountains expressly forbids any dallying with ancient remains, but insists that you proceed straight to the top with gusto and intrepidity. So, straining against the strong wind I'm led up a mountain by two thirteen year olds, one of whom has never been up a mountain, and the other has seen too many Bear Grylls.
I turn to photograph some of the huts and pounds that huddle out of the wind under the cliffs, from here I can see Mynydd Tir-y-Cwmwd, where we've just seen a very sorry dismantled dolmen, below me is the fort interior, coflein assures us that the entire place is covered in hut circles, but they've all gone from there, but not gone is a cairn, we'll see that shortly though. There is also a cairn further up the rocks behind me closer to the top, so I return to following the kids, who have now somewhat disconcertingly, disappeared.
I catch up with them huddled behind some rocks, the wind is very strong, not cold, but strong. They have also inadvertently stopped right by the cairn, so I give it a good inspection whilst they sit and look on.
Right up at the top is the trig point, 371 meters high, doesn't sound much does it, it's not even once round the running track, but 1217 feet does sound a lot. Apparently if a hill is over a thousand feet its a mountain, perhaps explaining why we consider Wales to be very mountainous.
Up at the top, the ground seems not wholly natural, I found that was probably because there was once a Norman tower castle up here, nothing too big, just big enough to make the downtrodden locals feel oppressed.
From up at the top the view is teasingly not over expansive, behind Garn Boduan The Rivals struggle to be seen through the haze, and the whole of Snowdonia just isn't there at all.
We start the walk along the great north wall, the night watch are long gone now, the dozens and dozens of huts and pounds are getting swallowed by high heather and much greenyness. I even stumble across the north entrance, it too is choked with undergrowth. But even better hidden than the entrance will be something I've not heard of before. If it's not unique let me know, this is cofleins description..........A robbed and ruined cist or ancient burial vault, 2.4m by 1.2m, is overlain by the inner rampart of Carn Fadrun. It is suggested that the cist was originally covered by a cairn, of which a scatter of loose boulders remain. Such a monument would conventionally be ascribed to the Bronze Age...........
How on earth am I supposed to discern a cairn with a wall over it, a wall that fell centuries ago and has spread twenty yards in either direction, this one will stretch my stone finding skills to be sure. A needle in a haystack, and a haystack made of needles.
We continue to the end of the north wall to the north east corner of the fort, on another rocky outcrop. Ive already seen half a dozen contenders for being ex cists. But then I find what I thought to be hut circle attached to the inner side of the inner wall, but the interior of the hut is very small, this could be the cairn, the inner scoop of the cairn is chokka block full of plant growth, at the time, I was still unsure so we carried on. At the south east corner, I decided that that was it after all, maybe, probably.
I detour into the forts interior to see the big cairn, it has been added to by Joe public, massively. So much so that I wonder if its bronze age at all, the very lowest section looks to be it, even a couple of kerb stones?
Back to the kids and we finish off the mountaineering part of the day by returning to the path via a path of our own choosing, over and among massive rocks, short cliffs and small caves, quite dangerous, stick to the path.

A superb hill fort with loads to see, epic views, easy to get to, but, still not as good as Tre'r Cieri.
postman Posted by postman
17th May 2015ce

Cnoc Na Maranaich (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th May 2015ce

Cnoc Na Maranaich (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

13/05/2015 - Nice chambered cairn on top of Cnoc Na Maranaich with nearby standing stone and cairn. The walk from Dunbeath is a good one. Passing a couple of brochs as we walked up Dunbeath Water then onto the chambered cairns of Carn Liath and Loedebest. Finally a short pull uphill to Cnoc Na Maranaich. Makes for a good day trip and the view from the top is great. thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th May 2015ce

Cnoc Na Maranaich (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th May 2015ce

Cnoc Na Maranaich (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Cnoc Na Maranaich</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th May 2015ce
Showing 1-50 of 111,841 posts. Most recent first | Next 50