There are some wonderful Ireland-focused blogs. Perhaps we need an official directory of high-standard personal blogs pertaining to the island. This one is a charm – rmchapple.blogspot.com by archaeologist Robert M Chapple, which contains a wide variety of engaging topics. I certainly will not be trying to compete with someone who keeps a catalogue of Radiocarbon Determinations and Dendrochronological Dates….
Audleystown Court Cairn is a dual court grave situated near the south shore of Strangford Lough, north-west of Castle Ward, 1.75 miles from Strangford village in County Down. It contained human and animal remains, as well as pottery and flint implements.
How many dolmens once existed? Is it a miracle that any have survived? Perhaps we underestimate conservation motives of the hundreds of generations of our ancestors who saved these monuments from destruction? Or perhaps we overestimate them?
Ringneill is a promontory enclosed on three sides by Strangford Lough. There is a causeway to Reagh Island and to the early monastery of Nendrum on Mahee Island. The area around Ringneill Quay was once a busy place. Fishing boats on Strangford Lough anchored here, and a thousand years before we would have seen Vikings. Ringneill also hosted people in Mesolithic and Neolithic times.
The Ballynoe Stone circle was not built for the selfie-inclined tourist. The site is found on an average Ulster farm, not unlike that where I grew up. The view is less impressive than that from other prehistoric sites. The people whose final remains were interred in this site were not adamant about having an eternal view that matched with the expectations of a 21st Ulsterman like myself.
To state the obvious, the most apparent feature of this monument is the circle of standing stones. And yet, even with a 33 m in diameter and some of the stones 2m high, the monument is much less impressive in a photograph compared to standing there looking across the plain.
The information sign at the entrance says it may have been originally surrendered by a ditch, and a pair of stones just outside the western edge of the circle could mark an entrance.
For someone with scant knowledge of archeology, certain things are still obvious. The building of this site requires much work and also planning. Hey lads let’s kill ourselves moving massive boulders into yonder field, and then figure out what we will do with them. These were people who only knew one thing – how to work hard. They had to find and make their own food, and had no time and energy to mess around moving boulders. This site was extremely important to this community. It was a site built to last, which it clearly has done. And it has a shape and structure and direction (north-south).
What I could not capture, Yuneechex (on http://www.megalithic.co.uk) captured this extraordinary aerial photo. What you cannot capture on the ground is now apparent here – the symmetry, a structure, and an enormous number of back-breaking large stones.
Several commentators have noted the similarity between Ballynoe and circles at Lough Gur, at Swinside in Cumbria and La Menec in Brittany. The stones would probably have stood much closer and upright to each other.
Ballynoe Stone Circle – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballynoe_Stone_Circle
Ballynoe – http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=657
In Bremore there are five mounds – presumably passage tombs – the largest is three metres high. It is 25 metres in diameter. It is near the River Delvin
Lambay Island was a Neolithic axe factory. As well as stones being quarried here, they were also carved into “roughs” – and brought elsewhere for finishing. Between 1993-2001, there was a search in a valley on the western end of Lambay Island to search for evidence of the working of porphyritic andesite (porphyry) for stone axe production. This production was confirmed along with the placing Neolithic pottery and worked flint into sealed pits.
The Wedge Tomb in Laughanstown is about 50 metres from the junction of the M50 and Cherrywood. This once stood on high ground with great views to the south but the new road is 30 metres higher so the view is no longer clear