Visits For June, 2009

Monday, 1st June 2009

Achill Island and Mayo - Part 3 of 3

Bank Holiday Monday and it's time to head home. I packed up the tent very early and set off to leave Achill and see a few sites close by before driving home around lunchtime.

The first sites I went to were megalithic tombs - a great court tomb and a portal tomb. After these I went to Kildun to see the cross pillar. On the way home I stopped at Turlough round tower again. The court tomb was on my list to see after the portal tomb, but I approached the portal from the wrong direction and a farmer sent me to the court tomb when I asked for directions. It seems that the court tomb is more widely known in the area. To reach the portal at Claggan you have to go through the grounds of Rock House (I thought a local said The Block House!) even though it is not on their land. The caretaker here is very friendly and many people seem to visit. They keep a lot of dogs, so approach with caution.

At this time of year the west coast of Mayo is a riot of pinky-purple, because there are rhododendrons everywhere! They are in almost plague proportions. With the easing off of farming in these areas they will soon overcome the whole of this area. Achill Island is also seemingly covered in them. These are all very pretty, but surely they are endangering the local species.

Drumcollagh (Co. Mayo)Court Tomb12 New Images
Claggan (Co. Mayo)Portal Tomb4 New Images
Kildun (Co. Mayo)Cross Pillar7 New Images
Turlough (Co. Mayo)Round Tower4 New Images

Saturday, 6th June 2009

Up A Wicklow Peak With New Discoveries

For some time now I've wanted to visit the non-cairn on top of Prince William's Seat above Enniskerry. Why a 'non-cairn'? Because there's a cairn marked on the OS map, but no signs of it now.

The walk from the Wicklow Way car park is a relatively easy one. The first section is a compacted hardcore track that goes through a cleared pine plantation. The Wicklow Way leaves this then and climbs the hill via what almost a staircase made of boulders. This section is one of the nicest bits of the Wicklow Way that I've been on and makes the climb up Prince William's Seat quite easy. Once at the top of this climb the Wicklow Way continues over to Glencullen and a path goes off to the left to the top of the mountain.

To the right at this point there is a path to Ravens Rock - two granite outcrops - which is where I discovered two standing stones that I haven't seen recorded anywhere. I didn't take the path up to the top of Prince William's Seat, but scrambled through the heather to check out some large rocks I could see. Several of these also appear to be standing stones. More interestingly several of them seem to be in a line that points firstly to Ravens Rock and then on to The Great Sugar Loaf Mountain! This could be an alignment worth checking out when I can work out the right time of year.

Prince William's Seat (Co. Wicklow)Standing Stone4 New Images
Prince William's Seat (Co. Wicklow)Cairn2 New Images
Ravens Rock (Co. Wicklow)Stone Pair6 New Images
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