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Archive for June 6, 2014

A local walk through History, Megolithic – Ring forts, Tombs and Standing stones.

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 5
Ring fort on the Hill, County Kilkenny
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

A local walk through History, Megolithic – Ring forts, Tombs and standing stones.

Last Month I posted the following two articles talking about the history of some historic remains and geology around the area where I live, on the County Kilkenny and Tipperary Boarders.

Pagan ring forts and passage tombs , From Kerry to kilkenny

Landscape and Geology around Slievenamon, county Tipperary

The image below shows the area around the mountain of Slievenamon, County Tipperary ( left ) and the foot hills that flow to the right and form the shape of an oval from the north and south of the mountain.

The Boarder between county kilkenny and Tipperary flows about half way through this image from north to south.

Slievenamon Panorama 2.

Over the last few weeks and during the summer of 2014, I want to study and post about the Stone age – Iron age, pre Christian remains that can be found in almost every one of the woods that can be seen in the above image ( Mainly visible as dark green) along with the remains on the mountain of slievenamon itself.

I have lived here in county Kilkenny for about 11 years , moving from the UK in 2003, from the very first walks I took locally it was clear that this area is full a history in the form of old buildings, farms, churches and grave yards.

The remains that interested me the most have been those of pre-Christian times, Ireland became a Christian country between 300 to 400 Ad. These local pre-Christian remains then date from betweem 300Ad to 6000 or 8000 years ago.

The remains that can be found locally take the form of (Ring forts, Graves and tombs, Standing stones and stone circles) all can be found within the area covered in the pictures above.

South Kilkenny. Woodlands

South Kilkenny. Woodlands

During last weekend and this week, I have been visiting the above woodland to the south east of the larger area I am studying and have marked on the image below the types of remains I have found :

Full woods labels

The remains that I have walk past on woodland paths and the ones that I have looked for by going deeper into the woods are by themselves amazing but by themselves do not tell you a story of who these people were and how they lived.

Over the next few weeks I want to uses four areas in total including the mountain of Slievenamon, to draw a picture of how I feel the people who built these structures lived.

How they worked this land, how they built their homes and how they buried and remembered their ancestors.

Structure of a ring fort

Structure of a ring fort

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Image Gallerys

The Images below are all pictures of the structures and remains I have found in the woodland area shown and labelled in the images above, I have split them into groups as follows:

Ring forts, these were used for – homes and cattle pens.
Standing stones, used to record time and mark areas.
Graves and tombs, Hill top Burial grounds .

One last thing worth pointing out is that below in the Grave Gallery are two large tomb cap stones, shown in the first two images.

When I first found the stone in the first image, I wondered if it could be anything more than just a large stone left from ice sheets, during the ice age some 10,000 years ago. However I then found the stone in the second image a couple of days later, both these stones are almost the exact same dimensions. It is very unlikely then that these stones can be the result of the ice age and that they are cap stones to large tombs lying underneath.

This web sites show some examples of excavated tombs from this period : Mesolithic tombs

I also have a great example of a tomb like this here : The passage tomb of olioll olum king of munster

Image gallery of the ring fort

Ring fort, marked above the woods

Ring fort, marked above the woods

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 1

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 3

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 4

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 6

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 7

A ring fort in the KIlkenny hills 8

Gallery of Standing stones within the woods

Standing stones 5

Standing stones 3

Standing stones 4

Standing stones 6

Gallery of Graves and Cap stones within the woods

Grave and cap stone 1

Graves and cap  stones 2

Grave and cap stone 3

Grave and cap stone 4