Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

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


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

27 responses

  1. Fantastic stuff Nigel, the last two look like some kind of collapsed tomb? Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    June 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    • Hello Ed πŸ™‚

      Thank you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      The last but one is an open small Grave I think , if you look to the left and up you can just make out the cap stone , which has been moved by some one in the past.

      Its hard to show the structure of the last image the opening is interesting though, I think this is all the side of a long barrow, it starts about 6 meters to the right , from this side view raises up with placed stones and the falls back again on the other side in the same way !!! , about 20 meters long all in all. If so its huge and needs looking at.

      Thank you Ed , πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      • Wow, thats a great find, I will have to take a trip over during the summer and explore, I just love these places πŸ™‚

        It would be interesting to see is there and history behind them? Back to the books for me this weekend πŸ™‚

        Thanks again Nigel

        June 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    • Your welcome Ed !!!

      I would love it if more people started exploring this period of Irish history πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      • Me too, there only seems to be a handfull that I have come across. I know most of what I do tend to be medieval but I love nothing more than the neolithic. Sadly there is not much of it left 😦

        June 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    • πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 6, 2014 at 2:50 pm

  2. I am so enjoying your posts! I am captivated by the history and the pictures. I am in the U.S. and have often felt the stork dropped me off on the wrong continent. I have been reading and studying about this subject for many years and finding your blog with these posts is wonderful. Love it. Keep them coming! Many Blessings to you!

    June 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    • Hello : ) πŸ™‚

      A pleasure πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ very pleased your enjoying and finding the blog enjoyable πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you, a great and very welcome comment !!!

      June 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      • Very enjoyable indeed! πŸ™‚ I am glad that makes you happy! Most welcome. πŸ™‚

        June 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm

  3. My favorite “stuff”!

    June 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    • Hello πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Great , very pleased you enjoyed and commented !!!

      June 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

  4. Fantastic Nigel – love reading about the history and with your photographs you’ve brought it alive. Thank you for sharing.

    June 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  5. Thank You for Being a Blessing in my Life. I Appreciate YOU πŸ™‚

    June 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    • Hello Morgan πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you also for all your visits and likes and comments πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Very pleased you enjoy !!!!

      June 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm

  6. Great post, Nigel. I’ve really enjoyed your posts on the history of your neck of the woods, really interesting accompanied by great photos.

    June 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    • Hello Freddy πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you very pleased you enjoyed πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you !!

      June 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

  7. Excellent Nigel; finding the whole series fascinating.

    June 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    • Hello Aidy πŸ™‚

      Thank you and very happy that you are enjoying them πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm

  8. So interesting to have an indepth knowledge of the past

    June 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    • Hello Diana πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Very pleased you found this post interesting – Thank you !!

      June 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

  9. M-R

    NIGEL !!!! – you are becoming something of an expert on this. Are you going to do the research with an eye to maybe publishing ? I wish you would …

    June 7, 2014 at 7:13 am

    • Hello margaret πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you!!!

      I am only just discovering what these places are about even after the last few years of seeing them and its great fun to know much more !!!

      That’s a lovely comment and I will see where it all leads but really enjoying this journey !!

      πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm

  10. Thanks for a wonderful post. Lovely images and informative text. Well done.

    June 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    • Hello Steven πŸ™‚

      Thank you a pleasure to share and happy you enjoyed !!!

      June 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm

  11. Particularly love the standing stones, Nigel!

    June 10, 2014 at 2:10 am

  12. What an interesting project and I admire the fact that you are able to identify these stones. In the woodland I would probably just pass them by. Add to the story illustrations which are superb

    June 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm

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