M 348 199
Near the shore at the
head of Lackanaloy Creek, 8 km SW of Oranmore, this little-known
tomb partly collapsed when one of the orthostats shifted and
M 426 058
Visible from a lane
running E from a by-road, opposite Caherglassaun Lough, this
very picturesque Dermot and Grania's Bed is probably
best viewed from afar. It is sited on a stretch of Burren-type
limestone, at the NNE end of a cairn some 22 metres long. Two
tall portal-stones, almost 3 metres high, and a backstone precariously
support a tilted capstone 3.5 metres long.
~ 800 metres S in Ballynastaig,
is a wedge-tomb roofed with a single massive stone.
~ 400 metres W, to
the N of the lane approaching Crannagh dolmen is Ballynastaig
(overgrown) stone fort. In it are a wall-chamber and a lintelled
passage with steps which may be a flooded souterrain
- or a well.
~ 7.3 km NNE, in a
field behind the stump of a Round Tower in Ardrahan (M
462 123) is a remarkably phallic standing-stone, less than one
km SSE, on the W side of the road 400 metres S of Ballynakill
Lough (M 461 948), is Derrycallan North "Dermot
and Grania's Bed": a small wedge-tomb with trees growing
out of it. A small chamber closed at both ends is covered by
a single roof-slab over 3 metres long. The S side also of the
tomb consists of a single slab over 2.5 metres long. Part of
the cairn survives.
km SW, in county Clare, is Ballaghaglash wedge-tomb.
Derryinver: Stone-row (alignment)
L 684 612
500 metres E of a by-road which flanks Tully Mountain, the six
stones of this alignment (highest 1.8 metres) run from E to
~ About 6 km SW in
Letterdeen (L 646 525) is a standing-stone of granite,
1.6 metres high on a small salt marsh at the east end of Streamstown
Bay, not far from the water. It has the hunched aspect of several
standing-stones, notably Crom Cruaich at Lough Gur in Limerick
and Tamnaharry in Down.
km WSW in Cleggan, picturesquely sited on the N shore
of Cleggan Bay (L 605 590), beside a low cliff just 9 metres
above the sea, is a court-tomb whose court no longer survives,
but whose fine three-chambered gallery retains a large and beautiful
roofstone over 3 metres long covering the second chamber and
resting on what may be a displaced lintel-stone. This tomb and
the two others nearby overlook the island of Inishbofin with
an outline which resembles a reclining or sleeping woman.
km W of Cleggan in another fine setting close to a beach in
Sellerna Bay is a bug-shaped court-tomb ('Labbydermot') at Knockbrack
(L 590 586), with a gallery 4 metres long which is half filled
with sand, shell and bits of stone. It is just 1 metre wide
and covered by a single roof slab.
~ 4.3 km NNE of Cleggan,
in Legaun (L 592 548) behind a bungalow and below a rocky
escarpment is a ruined portal-tomb whose chamber 4 metres long,
1.5 metres wide and 1.6 metres tall would have made it one of
the largest portal tombs in Ireland. The portal-stones, however,
are only 1.8 metres high.
Just under 5 km SSE of Derryinver (L 701 563) is a good
three-stone row at Baunoge.
~ 13.6 km ESE of Derryinver in Gleninagh (L 815 552)
is a row of six quartzite stones no higher than one metre.
~ Just over 21 km ESE, on low ground just N of the Bealanabrack
river (L 886 554) in Poundcartron is a quartz stone-row
of four low quartzite blocks plus remains of a fifth.
1600 metres E by S in Knockaunbaun (L 904 552) is a pair
of quartz blocks.
Other pairs of quartz
blocks occur in Galway and Mayo - e.g. Ballynew (L 626
582), and two at Crocknaraw (L 665 560) - both near the
Cleggan tomb (above). A
very handsome solitary stone is reported at Garranbaun
(L 662 577).
~ 20 km SE is Scrahallia
wedge-tomb (see below).
Aengus or Dún Aonghasa: Stone fort
L 817 098
is the most famous of the stone forts on the Aran Islands in
Galway Bay (boats from Galway town and other ports in Galway
Bay, depending on the season). Although over-restored, it is
a magnificent structure perched on top of a sheer 60-metre cliff,
rows of semicircular defences and a very fine "chevaux-de-frise"
of thousands of sharp pieces of limestone set upright
to impede access. A fourth (outermost) wall is almost destroyed.
A low-lintelled doorway leads in from the N. The innermost citadel
(whose massive buttresses are modern) has a fine lintelled entrance,
wall-walks, and chambers, and encloses an area roughly 45 metres
km NW of Kilronan is Dun Oghil (Dún Eochla, L 863 098),
another massive (and over-restored) fort, circular and surrounded
by the tiny stonewalled fields that are typical of the West
of Ireland. Piles of stones inside the citadel are the remains
of huts, and there are terraces and stairways.
km WNW of Kilronan is Dun Onaght (Dún Eoghanacht), an
almost circular, single-wall fort with terraced rampart and
km SW of Kilronan is Dun Doocaher (Dún Dubhchathair or
the Black Fort), a promontory fort with remains of chevaux-de-frise
outside a massive curved rampart cutting across the base of
a cliff-girt promontory.
km WNW of Kilronan, in Oghil is Dermot and Grania's
Bed (Leaba Dhiarmuid agus Gráinne, L 850 009), a
fine wedge-tomb with three overlapping roofstones covering a
gallery over 2.5 metres long.
~ On the
middle island of the Aran group, Inishmaan, is Doon Conor
(Dún Chonchúir, L 942 048 in the townland of Carrowntemple),
but very impressive, with terraces, wall-chambers and (restored)
In a beautiful
location across the Bealanabrack river, N of a minor road, are
two quartzite stones 160 and 80 cms high.
for another photo
km WNW on the same side of the river and close to a stream in
Poundcarton (L 887 553) an alignment of 4 stones, two
of which have fallen.
~ 7 km almost due W of the Poundcarton stones (L 8154 5524)
in Gleninagh is an alignment of 6 low stones overlooking
the Gleninagh river.
M 688 039
The chamber of this
fine but threatened tomb is over 7 metres long and 1.3 metres
high, with traces of a portico. It seems to have been originally
covered by just three roof slabs - two of which are still held
aloft but slipping. The central one lies on top of collapsed
side-stones. Trees are seriously endangering the structure.
for another photo
East: Stone circle, etc.
M 645 154
km ESE of Loughrea, immediately SW of the road to Tynagh and
Portumna, is 'The Seven Monuments', a stone circle comprising
seven stones set in a low earthen ring or henge one metre high
and some 22 metres in diameter which has a single gap or entrance.
The stones are said to have been re-erected, and the small cairn
in the centre of the ring may have been built by the Ordnance
Survey in the 19th century.
Nearby is a terraced mound which may have been an assembly-place.
~ In Masonbrook
townland immediately SE is a trivallate earthwork nearly 100
metres in diameter which has the remains of a souterrain. There
are numerous unexcavated sites of importance near Loughrea.
These include the ringfort, house sites and field systems at
Gorteenapheebera and the ancient cashel and village
at Toanroasty. Raths ('ring-forts' or fortified farmsteads)
are widespread particularly north and west of the town.
km N by W is "The Turoe Stone" (below).
L 793 432
Near the top of isolated
Cashel Hill, south of the Twelve Bens of Connemara, raised on
a man-made platform above marshy ground, this tomb can helpfully
be viewed from above. The gallery is covered by a single, unshifted
capstone. In front of this on the south side is a tall flanking
stone similar to those found at Island (Cork).
The walls of the gallery are made of small orthostats, and chocking
stones have been inserted on both sides ensure a level roof.
The double walling extends backwards to a point 2 metres behind
the backstone of the gallery.
My colleague Ian Thompson
considers that the boggy area in front of the tomb could well
have been wet when the tomb was built, because a line of six
evenly spaced stones lead across it to the front of the tomb.
These, 'placed a perfect pace apart', might well be stepping-stones.
~ Around 20 km N, amongst
the Twelve Bens and the Maamturk Mountains are several stone-rows
(see under Derryinver, above.)
Decorated "Celtic cult-stone"
M 630 223
a field beside a house, up a lane to the N of a by-road, 6 km
of Loughrea, this remarkable phallic pillar was moved from the
Rath (Iron Age farmstead) of Feerwore (Fír Mhór: Big
- or Great - Men) in the same townland, where excavations suggested
that an open site dating to the last centuries before the Christian
Era was later enclosed. The stone is of granite, 90 cms high,
and the top half is covered with a continuous abstract curvilinear
design carved in relief in the Celtic style known as "La Tène",
with a kind of circumcision-line of Greek-key pattern beneath
it. The flowing design can easily be interpreted as semen. It
is amazing that such a wonderful object - resembling (and obviously
as important as) the Navel Stone at Delphi, has survived in
Ireland up to the 21st century, remaining outdoors, albeit somewhat
spoiled by a concrete surround and hideously-painted cattle-grid.
More recently, an ugly shed has been erected in order to protect
the stone from vandalism, through whose dirty plastic windows
the stone may be glimpsed.
on the thumbnail for larger pictures
a kind of "sister" in the egg-shaped Castlestrange
Stone, county Roscommon.