Across 2 fields to
the S of a farm lane, 800 metres NE of Rear Cross, this fine
and carefully-constructed, but overgrown, 'Dermot and Grania's
Bed' has a large chamber over 4 metres long, separated by
a septal slab from the antechamber/portico, over which a single-slab
roof is supported by 2 free-standing orthostats. The easternmost
roofstone of the gallery has a wide, deep groove on the underside,
and several of the boulders of the circular cairn (15 metres
in diameter) have cup-marked or pocked surfaces. The N orthostat
beside the septal slab has a kind of chessboard pattern of incised,
criss-cross lines. Excavation revealed that the antechamber
was originally open at the W, with a low sill-stone marking
the entrance, but this was later closed by double arc of inclined
slabs. Inside the antechamber is a roofless kist, which contained
cremated bones. There were four other cremations in the antechamber
and 16 others in pits and kists in the cairn, some of which
were thought to be secondary. The tomb is reputed to have been
used as an IRA refuge or hideout during the unrest of the period
~ 1.6 km E is a standing-stone,
and there is another standing-stone 2.8 metres high in the lane
near the wedge-tomb.
~ 1.5 km SSW, 400 metres
S of Rear Cross, with picnic-tables and Leylandii cypress
screen to the W of the road to Pallas Grean (R 842 585, Sheet
66) is Shanballyedmond court-tomb, a southern outlier
of the type. To the prevailing wedge-tombs it may owe its small
size, U-shaped kerb and narrow, funnel-shaped forecourt. The
gallery has two chambers, near which is the kerb of orthostats
originally linked by dry-walling. Joining on to the ends of
the court - which excavation found to be paved - was a kind
of palisade which led right round the tomb over 2 metres out
from the kerb.
~ 5.6 km SE in Aughsullish(Sheet 66) are two damaged wedge-tombs. The first, somewhat
interfered with by a farm-track and wall (R 877 574) retains
its roof-slabs, made level by use of large chocking-stones on
the N side. The second, 150 metres away at R 878 575, is an
unusually small example, whose gallery has just two roof-slabs,
one resting on the other.
~ 6 km ESE at Loughbrack
(sheet 66) are the ruins of another (very large) wedge tomb:
see under Knockcurraghbola Commons, below.
~ 6.8 km S by W, is
the stone-row at Lackagoneeny, county Limerick.
~ 7.8 km N of Baurnadomeeny
is Bauraglanna stone circle (see under Carrigeen
~ 10.5 km E by N is
Knockcurraghbola Commons wedge-tomb.
An impressive alignment
of three tall, chunky stones command fine views in the Arra
Mountains between Nenagh and the Shannon. The largest, central,
stone is 1.7 metres high.
~ About 11 km E by
N, and about 3 km ESE of Nenagh in Lisbunny (R 895 786)
is a fine standing-stone, over 3 metres high, with crenellation
on the top due to weathering.
The stone itself is a reddish conglomerate but it has evidently
been whitewashed until recently.
~ 8.7 km NNW of Lisbunny,
at Ashley Park (R 874 870,) is an 'undifferentiated'
passage tomb - i.e. one in which the passage and chamber are
not separate entities. The entrance is around 1.5 metres wide
and as the 5-metre long passage goes (NW) towards the rear it
widens to nearly 2.5 metres. About 1.5 metres from the rear
there is a small stone set against the SW wall, which marks
the point where the undifferentiated chamber starts.
The tomb is to one
side of the tumulus, and not in the centre: perhaps there is
(or was intended to be) another one.
~ About 12 km SE of
Carrigeen at Bauraglanna (R 838 678) is a fine but damaged
stone circle sitting on a little plateau overlooking the valley
below. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and looks due
east along a river valley towards Cooneen Hill. To the southwest
the massive Slievekimalta dominates the site.
The tallest stone is
around 1.85 metres and the shortest is just 40 cm high. It is
possible that the stones rose in height as they approached the
tallest, but it is difficult to be sure, because so many stones
are missing from the NE side of the circle. In the centre there
is a fallen stone that may once have stood upright. Interestingly
a line from the tall stone through the centre of the circle
continues on towards a small notch in the hills to the northwest.
~ At Lisheentyrone
(R 762 808) is a pair of low standing-stones (one fallen),
but, more interestingly, nearby (R 71684 80784) is a large boulder
covered with cup-marks, recently discovered by Derek Ryan Bawn.
photo by Derek Ryan Bawn
R 892 303
"The Blessed Stone"
is a fine, almost circular boulder of quartz conglomerate about
1 metre in diameter lying to the W of "Woodview Farmhouse",
which is 5.6 km due S of Tipperary town, in a little modern
enclosure on the S side of the by-road from Gransha to Galbally,
running parallel with the Aherlow river. It has three large
(hemispherical depressions) whose maximum diameter is 30 cms
and whose maximum depth is 17.7 cms. Two other bullauns have
been eroded by water, and a sixth is very shallow. There are
2 less perfect bullauns on the underside of the boulder, whose
name might originally have meant 'The Blessing-stone'.
~ About 18 km E by
S at Toureen Pekaun (S 006 285, sheet 74) in the middle
of the field opposite the Romanesque church (and cross-fragments)
is a low circular structure containing another bullaun stone.
There is a large depression which no longer holds water , and
a smaller, very shallow one, which used to hold a turning-stone
for ritual cure accompanied by prayer. This has disappeared
in recent times - possibly having been sent to (or taken by)
someone for a cure, as is often done with stones considered
to have healing powers.
~ About 19 km SE in
Farranagark (S 057 231, sheet 74) in the middle of the
road at a junction is a stone with two shallow, roughly carved
bullauns - which is painted bright green, although the paint
is somewhat worn. It is framed by a diamond of white quartz
pebbles surrounded by a kerb painted orange. The horse trailers
which go around this corner to the nearby stables probably go
over this bizarre traffic-island all the time.
~ 5 km
W are the remains of a hilltop passage-tomb at Shrough
(R 842 306) - fairly easy to reach via the Ballyhoura Way
which goes right past it - thus being possibly the only hill-top
passage tomb with a picnic table. The large cairn survives to
a height of 1 metre and incorporates an OS trigonometrical marker
on the eastern edge. The remains of the small rectangular chamber
are set off-centre, and comprise two orthostats on each side,
with a half-size orthostat at the W end. The E end is open.
Needless to say, there are splendid views encompassing the Glen
of Aherlow and the Galty Mountains beyond, as well as the plain
of Limerick to the W.
km W at Corderry (R 826 299) is a seriously overgrown
wedge-tomb, on whose gallery two roofslabs remain, while a slightly
displaced one lies across a possible portico feature.
~11 km WSW is the passage-tomb
at Duntryleague, county Limerick.
Commons: Wedge-tomb R
Three hundred metres
S of the road from Inch to Upperchurch and to the west of a
by-road, this impressive, but partly-ruined wedge-tomb crowns
a knoll which offers fine views of an amphitheatre of hills.
The gallery survives to a length of over 11 metres, with good
double-walling on the S. The façade is missing, but a fine door-slab
remains in position. Two large roofstones are also in place,
covering the SW (front) end of the gallery.
~ 2.1 km SE is a pair
of standing-stones just 5 metres from the roadside at Shevry
(R 968 596). The smaller one is not quite in the centre of a
henge just 5 metres in diameter, with an Eastern entrance, while
the larger one (4.1 metres) stands outside.
~ 4.7 km WSW are the
ruins of a very large wedge-tomb (Dermot and Grania's Bed)
at Loughbrack (R 907 592, sheet 66) whose gallery is
over 6 metres in length and 1.7 metres wide, and is aligned
with the highest point of the hill to the west (Kilcommon townland).
The backstone is almost 3 metres long and spans both the gallery
and the double walling. Inside the gallery at its rear there
is still some of the inner walling left - the rest is the outer
'skin' of the double walling. There is also a broken slab -
possibly a piece of a roofslab.
~ 10.4 km W by S is
km ESE is a wedge-tomb at Cureeny (or Curreeny) Commons
(R 877 647) which is a very nicely preserved, if remote, megalith,
oriented E-W, and with views to the Mahurslieve to the north
and Keeper Hill to the SW. It is about a 3 km walk from the
house at the start of a lane and consists of a double-walled
gallery, at least 7 metres long and 1.2 metres in maximum width,
divided by a septal-stone into a portico at the WSW and a main
chamber some 5 metres long. The gallery sides decrease in height
towards the E. The entrance is formed from two huge megaliths
that resemble the jambs of a court-tomb. A small stone set in
between them indicates that it had a split portico. Just one
roofstone is still in place, but the quality of the double walling
and the two entrance jambs, one of which leans outwards, make
up for that. There is also a fallen jamb inside the gallery,
which would have only blocked off half of its width. This, like
the huge entrance stones and the tapering gallery, gives this
tomb a passing resemblance to a court tomb.
photo by Derek Ryan
Hills: Standing-stones and alignments
S 193 838
8 km SE of Roscrea, scattered over an area of 40 hectares of
fields and woodland in Cullaun and Timoney Hills
townlands, county Tipperary, and extending into Laois, are some
300 enigmatic, small Standing-stones which (except for a circle
of 16 stones with a diameter of nearly 70 metres in Cullaun)
form no discernible pattern nor as-yet-imaginable function.
Some are in groups of three: a tall stone, a short stone and
a slab. Others occur singly (especially to the N) or in pairs.
A note on access from The
Standing Stone website:
'The Timoney Stones are located in large grazing fields, but
many stones can be seen from the trackway. There areoften many
cattle in the fields and, naturally, they congregate around
the larger stones and use them as scratchers. Signs are on all
the fences warning hunters to keep off. This is a site where
asking the farmer is essential if you want to go into the fields.
Also be careful with the cattle...there's a lot of them. Many
stones can be seen in the fields on the right hand side as you
go up the track but if you go into the field through the fence
at the very end of the track this will lead to a series of field
with multiple stones that are not visible from the track. These
stones contain many pairs which are alligned N-S and E-W.'