Ardgroom Stone Circle, County Cork, Ireland
The Ardgroomon stone circle is located on the Beautiful Beara Peninsula, county cork. It has to be one of the most magical of all the Irish stone circle, it also has the best of locations and views, sitting about the Atlantic ocean. There is something so exciting and mysterious about visiting a stone circle. The Ardgroomon circle is located in an area were there is an abundance of these historic sites, as well as wedge tombs, ring forts, boulder burials and fulachta fiadhs.
As well as being used for the Solar Spring and summer Equinox’s along with the Summer and Winter Solstice, many of these stone circles would also log the Movement of the Moon, Planets and Stars as during the year they changed their positions along the horizon. The standing stones in a stone circle would have in combination with a feature on local hill sides, have been lined up with astronomical objects(Sun, moon, planets and Stars). This would have given an almost daily measurement for months of the year.
The reason that ancient peoples needed to log the movement of the heavens was mainly for practical reasons such as farming, they needed to know when to sow seeds, bring cattle down from the mountains and bring in the crops, also they needed to know how long their store of food had to last before the new growing season started, no imports in those days.
Irish Standing stones : Carrigeen,
Carrigeen standing stone is among the best located stones in Ireland. It stands in a superb location at the top of the picturesque Nire valley from where there is magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding mountainous region. On the day this image was taken it was -2 degrees and the mountains had a thick covering of mist.
The stone stands some height, an impressive 2.5 meters and tapering to a sharp point. It stands solidly upright and is oriented in a WNW-ESE direction.
An interesting observation here, was when looking westwards, that the jagged crest of the stone seemed to align somewhat with the distant profile of the mountain ridge to the west. (see photo below). This may be just coincidental or was it of significance and could this jagged profile of the stone have survived through thousands of years?
Apart from this speculation, Carrigeen standing stone and its surroundings is a ‘must see’.
Charcoal black tip of arrowhead,
among these ancient, stones – stained red
Heartbeats share rhythms of ghostly drums..
Winds carry haunting, chanting hums
I feel your blood, flow here with mine,
outlasting, even decaying time
I’ve been told the stories, told to you,
I know we’re just spirits, passing through
When thunder, shakes awake the night,
I vision warriors by firelight
Their voices echo, around mountain’s soul,
while moon and stars watch us below
Respect the sky, and mother earth,
borrow the beauty, from time of birth
Then give in death peacefully
yourself, to rest eternally
Among these ancient, stones – stained red,
my mirror reflects traces, of those long………..
Frozen in Time – a Kilkenny standing stone
I came across this standing stone while out walking through some fields at the top of one of county kilkenny’s many hills, the Moon was sitting right above it and I felt it was a very appropriate moment.
Ireland has so many of these stones and few are protected, many thousands must have been removed over time and the ones left only survive because the land owners care enough to keep them. It is thought that most date back some four to six thousand years so can you imagine just how many times the moon has passed over this standing stone marking the passage of each day.
Standing looking at this view however time felt frozen !!!!
The Standing Stones
By : John Bliven Morin
Who will go where the standing stones stand,
when the fog rolls in and covers the land,
when the moon is hidden in a cloudy sky,
and the night is as dark as a raven’s eye,
and the wind is as cold as a winter’s chill,
What’s that? You say you’ll dare, you will?
We’re here. If you’ve courage in your mortal bones,
then go and walk through the standing stones;
yes, that way, go, though it’s hard to see
the ancient path in this obscurity;
your torch is useless for a light,
with the fog and the darkness of the night;
you go alone, for you claim the nerve;
I’ll stay right here, for I only serve.
Follow this footpath through the mist,
and keep to the path I must insist.
You step down the path and I’m lost to view,
as the fog and the mist are surrounding you;
several sounds – grinding – from all about,
startle you so that you almost shout,
but all that comes out is a muted croak,
as you wrap yourself in your winter cloak.
You feel things moving through the very ground,
huge things, horrid things sliding around,
which make your skin crawl with growing fear,
and you sense that something is drawing near;
something immense, for the earth so shakes
that a chill runs up your spine and makes
the hair on your head stand up in fright,
as the fog rolls past and hides from sight
that which you fear but cannot see;
perhaps in your nightmares previously.
Wasn’t that standing stone over there?
But now it’s so close, and that other pair
are much nearer too than they were before!
You remember tales of ancient lore,
as you fall back on some lower stones,
and the Old Ones come to crush your bones;
you scream in fear, you scream in pain,
but all your screaming is quite in vain,
for no one can hear you or see the blood
flow down the altar-stone in a flood;
Then all is quiet; you’ve paid the price,
for you were the Druid’s sacrifice.
and I, their servant. go from here
homeward, until another year.
Sunday with Kilkenny’s ancient stones and tombs
Earlier in the year I posted this article about the kilmogue portal Tomb , Located Near Harristown , County Kilkenny.
Sitting at the end of a short path near Harristown, county kilkenny, it is a 6000 year old tomb, know nationally at the Kilmogue Portal Tomb but locally as, “Leac an Scail” – stone of the warrior/hero in English.
This tomb however has become just the first of many ancient remains I feel I have found in this small area of County Kilkenny, since I posted the above post in April (2014).
The above is a map of a wooded area located above the Kilmogue Portal Tomb, Harristown, Kilkenny.
When back in April when I re-visited the portal tomb, I took a good look at its surroundings, its a dairy farming area with some very defined field patterns, I had a very strong feeling that this tomb could not be the only local ancient remains, there just had to be more.
It took some weeks of walking the local roads and wood-lands to find what I was looking for and the above map shows clearly the amount of sites I feel I have now found (Ring forts, standing stones and Tombs), while walking through the above woods there are many different type of megalithic remains.
I visited the another of what I felt was a possible megalithic site last Sunday and this Sunday morning, a collection of Multiple tombs and wanted to share some of the pictures and feeling below.
To get to this location I had to navigate through the trees and get over a wall into the field but once in I was amazed at what I found. There are a total of nine tombs that could as important as the Kilmogue Portal Tomb, they are possible megalithic Court tombs or Portal tombs. I feel that to find so many Tombs in one field is very special and reflects on just how important an area this must have been to the people who lived here over a vast period of time.
I need to keep working on this location and study a lot more as to my possible findings but feel its very exciting to find such a large collection of Tombs in one place.
I did at first wonder if these tombs where just collections of rocks that a farmer in the past had cleared from his fields but on getting closer and spending sometime walking around them, as you can see in the pictures these rocks are very large and in the correct formation and organisation to be Tombs.
They have large rocks forming a boarder with a raised area in the centre, they have a single gap forming an entrance and what looks like smaller grave area inside the tombs themselves. These features fully match the definition of what are defined as court tombs.
You are welcome to have a good looks at the pictures below and form you own impression but for the moment I am very pleased to have found such an impressive ancient location.
The Tombs of Harristown, Kilkenny ; Gallery
Local Standing Stones : Gallery
County Kilkenny has many Standing stones, often located on farm land and hidden from public eyes.
They are a reminder of times past, long ago, so long few know their original purpose or anything about the people who first erected them.
It is thought that they were used to mark the passing of time , the Hours, days and months of the year.
By : Anthony Zeigler
Time is where we are
And time is where we’ve been
Time is being lost
And found again
Time is the day we were born
the day we die
Time is the hours that pass
As they come just then fly
Time is what we know
what we learn
Time is what it is
Some times it will hunt and some times it will burn
Time is all we have
Though it seems so little
Time is all around us
We are caught in the middle
Time is when we’re there
what we’ve missed
Time is our biggest fear
But we try to make the best of it