Boleycarrigeen : Stone Circle

CountyWicklow
Grid RefS 935 892
GPSS 93502 89241 (8m)
Longitude6° 36' 31.92" W
Latitude52° 56' 45.1" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKiltegan (4.6 Km)
OS Sheet62
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 28th October 2001

There are some places that do strange things to you, and this is one of them. A beautiful circle, just 14m in diameter, set in a sheltered glade. Of the 18 original slab-like stones only 11 remain upright, one or two lie on the ground, the rest are gone or buried.

There are two much larger stones (probably the entrance) facing slightly north of west, so probably a sunset on summer equinox (I think) alignment. The center of the circle is bear grass surrounded by bracken and it truly is beautiful. I stood with my arms open wide soaking up the sun on my face in awe.

The strange things I spoke of earlier were that I was overcome with the urge to strip and run around the circle forever. I just settled for running around the circle several times, dancing and shouting like a madman.

I want to keep this place all to myself, to be selfish and greedy but I simply can't. Go there and enjoy, go there and experience this circle. If you meet a bearded loony running around naked, it may be me on one of my revisits (which will be frequent). Don't forget to say hello.

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Sunday, 18th November 2001

Revisited to show a friend, an attempt (successful) to visit four circles in a day ( The Piper's Stones (County Wicklow), Castleruddery Lower (County Wicklow), Boleycarigeen & Broadleas (County Kildare)). This place is still magical !!

Sunday, 14th April 2002

After the ease of reaching Athgreany and Castleruddery a visit here is always special. The slow walk up the hill through the woods always adds a little suspense, especially when taking someone there for the first time.

My companions were as impressed as I was when I first found this exquisite little circle. I just wish that the views could be restored to it.

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Friday, 27th September 2002

Massively over grown and with the stones hidden this is still a wnderful place. Anyway, we found a great way of quickly clearing the bracken to allow us to see the stones clearly. Lie down and roll all over it. Great fun! but it helps if you know that there are no big stones on the ground.

Sunday, 11th January 2004

This is a good time of year to visit. For one thing you are certain not to meet anyone up here (you rarely do anyway!), but also the bracken is all dead and the circle fully visible.

Snow fell while we were here, like loads of big fluffy fairies. It didn't last long or stick though.

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Sunday, 30th January 2005

It was with some surprise that the trees on the slopes below the circle have been cleared away, especially as I woke up on Thursday morning with the odd feeling that this was the case.

The walk up from the track to the circle, up the sun-dappled slopes beneath the towering pines, used to be a special part of any trip here, but now this section of it is like a warzone: the tumbled corpses of mightly trees lie scattered about, while their orange, mechanichal conquerers sit amongst them gloating. They haven't quite reached as far up the slope as the circle yet, but it's only a matter of time.

When this does happen the views will once again be open for a few years until the newly planted trees once again block the views. I'll be back in a few weeks to see if the views are opened up yet and hopefully I will be able to see what should be seen from this ridgetop spot.

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Sunday, 11th December 2005

OK. Who's been messing with this circle then? Several stones have been disturbed and severl seem to have been added to fill the gaps! There really are some idiots out there! I suppose they think they're adding to the site in some misguided way.

Apart from that little annoyance we (myself and the photographer Ken Williams) were here for some late afternoon/twilight shots of the circle. This had the advantage of allowing me to confirm something I've long wondered about - the alignment of the circle's axis. I can now say that it does align with the winter solstice sunset! If the trees weren't there to block most of the effect it would be truly spectacular!

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Sunday, 8th October 2006

Due to rain and low cloud stopping me climb nearby Keadeen Mountain I thought I'd check if the trees had been cleared from around the circle, but they haven't. It looks like the recent 'tail-ends of hurricanes' may have felled a couple of trees, though. Luckily, none of these fell into the circle.

I took a few photos in order to have a go at producing some stereo images. If they worked I will post them up, so have your 3-D glasses handy!

Sunday, 12th April 2009

I've been waiting for this monument to be released from its pine tree prison for years and that day has finally come. Ken Williams received a text saying the trees had been felled: it didn't take me long to decide to spend a bit of time here.

When the circle was surrounded by trees it felt small and personal. Now that the trees have gone it reveals itself has a large circle. The stones look much bigger and the circle much broader. The sense of space and freedom at the site is almost overwhelming. As usual when pine tree plantations are felled, the surrounding ground looks like a war zone, but the wide open vista manages to distract you from that.

The view now takes in Keadeen Mountain and its cairns ( Keadeen (County Wicklow)), and the possible hillfigures on its slopes ( Finn McCool And His Wife (County Wicklow)) to the east. The top of Croghan Mountain at the southern end of the Wicklow Mountains can be seen poking out over the southern slopes of Keadeen. The ground to the west rises up and the view to the passage tomb on Baltinglass Hill (County Wicklow)) is obscured. To the north/northwest the hillfort ( Brusselstown Ring (County Wicklow)) on Spinnal's Hill dominates the site. Between Spinnal's Hill and Keadeen the view is over the Glen of Imaal. The view to the south surprised me the most. The landscape in this direction drops away to far-reaching plains which are terminated by the Blackstair Mountains and Mount Leinster.

The monument is located in an amphitheater that opens up to the south to wonderful effect. The alignment of the circles axis might just point to a sunrise at the point where the northern slopes of Keadeen meet the tops of the hills beyond.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Site Plans

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Directions

From Hacketstown take the R747 north to Kiltegan. At the cross roads carry straight on north (leaving R747). Continue, going over the next crossroads until you reach a fork in the road. Take the right hand road. After about 1.3km you come to a track on the left leading into the woods with a parking area on the right. Park and follow the track through the woods for about 250m. Then head up into the woods through the trees and head for the ridge. Keep looking out for the bright spot in the trees created by the clearing as this is the only way to identify the location.

Miscellanea

This stone circle is also known as the 'Griddle Stones'.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Stone Circles

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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