Visits For May, 2010

Saturday, 8th May 2010

A Beautiful Half-Day Around Monaghan

What a scorcher! What a wonderful day of sunshine! A few weeks ago I went to Monaghan and didn't get to some of the sites on my list, but today I returned and saw those sites and a few more. There really are some interesting megalithic tombs in the county. The ones I saw today don't all fall into that category, though.

The best of the bunch was the court tomb at Tiredigan, which has lost much of its court, but stands in a mighty cairn. This was closely followed in the 'nice sites' race by the tiny tomb at Radeery. The state of the monuments I saw doesn't really matter, though. Getting out and about on such a day is prize enough.

The first site I stopped at was the churchyard at Donagh. This churchyard is beautifully maintained and a pleasure to walk around. The buildings are very ruined, but the wheel cross and cross bases there are very nice.

With all this sun around I couldn't just come straight home so I took a detour and went to Monasterboice on the way back. I love that place. In the sunlight it's simply sublime and I was lucky to have the place practically to myself for most of my stay there.

Donagh (Co. Monaghan)Church14 New Images
Donagh (Co. Monaghan)Cross3 New Images
The Wart Stone - Donagh (Co. Monaghan)Cross4 New Images
Killina (Co. Monaghan)Court Tomb6 New Images
Tiredigan (Co. Monaghan)Court Tomb8 New Images
Radeery (Co. Monaghan)Wedge Tomb4 New Images
Monasterboice (Co. Louth)Round Tower6 New Images
Muiredach's Cross - Monasterboice (Co. Louth)High Cross22 New Images
The West Cross - Monasterboice (Co. Louth)High Cross7 New Images

Saturday, 15th May 2010

Inishmurray Here I Come ... Oh No I Don't

I had been invited to join a boat trip to Inishmurray off the Sligo coast to see the wonderful early monastery there, so I drove up to Sligo and camped at Rosses Point on Friday night and waited to hear if the weather was going to be kind. Sadly, the weather looked too bad and the boat trip was cancelled. We're going to try again in a few weeks time.

Luckily my hosts, Thorsten and Tatjana, had back-up plans and we headed off for Streedagh and Dernish Island instead. Tatjana is studying the archaeology of these two areas (among others) and has made some great discoveries, which she kindly showed me. She hasn't published these findings yet, so I can't tell you about them ... much sadness! However, when they are published I'll be back there and tell you all about them. I can post information on two standing stones and a fine wedge tomb, though.

I was going to stay another night and go to see some more monuments in the area and then head to north Mayo to do some research for my next book, Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Mayo, but the weather turned bad and I decided to gather up my tent and head home.

Tatjana wrote her Phd dissertation about Portal Tombs, so I got to talk about prehistoric monuments all day and got loads of tips about ones to visit, so I'll be back soon with a good list of tombs to see.

Conor's Island I (Co. Sligo)Standing Stone3 New Images
Conor's Island II (Co. Sligo)Standing Stone3 New Images
Streedagh (Co. Sligo)Wedge Tomb11 New Images
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