Hello ATS and Happy St. Patrick's Day 2013.
Please join me on brief tour of some of Ireland's unique megaliths.
*Heart-breaking melody along with stunning images, many of megaliths...*
The Axial-Stone Circles of Cork and Kerry, Ireland
Axial-Stone Circles (ASCs) are considered unique to the region that roughly incorporates both counties Cork and Kerry in Ireland and are sometimes
circles. But to understand what an axial-stone circle is, we have to know what a recumbent-stone
A feature that is found in common amongst stone circles in Brittany, Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, is that most of these circles include what
seems to be the center-piece of the circle, which is known as the recumbent stone
. The recumbent stone lies on its side, sort of like an alter,
and in most stone circles, the tallest encircling upright stones flank either side of the recumbent stone. This common configuration of stones is
commonly referred to as a Recumbent-Stone Circle
which is in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is an excellent example of a
The stone circles in Cork and Kerry, on the other hand, are referred to as Axial Stone Circles
, they have recumbent stones, too, but there is a
marked difference. In these stone circles, the encircling stones are always placed in pairs which surround an axis created by a line drawn straight
through the portal stones, through the center of the circle, and straight through the recumbent stone; and the recumbent stone, in an ASC, always
. No one knows why.
The standing stones, along with the recumbent stone, also always form an uneven number and become taller as they progress in height towards the
, rather than taller as they get to the recumbent stone, which is the case with RSCs.
ASCs and RSCs both have in common that each can have an 'outlying' stone. In relatively recent Irish legend and lore, it was told that the groups of
big rocks were once pagan dancers that dared to defy God and had danced on Sunday, and that God had turned them to stone as they circled in their
dance, including the 'piper', who can be found lying outside the stone circle. Some of these circles have 'pipers'.
All of the ASCs shown here are considered to have been under active construction during the Neolithic era; sometime in the 3rd millennium, BC.
This map helps to show County Cork in relation to County Kerry, they both encompass the far south-southwester coastal regions of Ireland
At the edge of a peninsula in southern Ireland, at the foot of the sacred hill called, Skellig
, and overlooking the Kenmare river, is the stone
circle called “Canfea”, or, Ardgroom
9 stones of 11 still stand, and Ardgroom is also known for its huge outlying piper-stone which nears 9 feet in height. The stones of Ardmour form a 23
foot in diameter circle, with some as small as under 1 foot and the taller coming in at just under 6 feet.
Tucked in to the shady verdant lea of the Boggerah mountains is what is considered to be one of the region’s most exemplary ASCs.
Carrigagulla has beautiful, straight portal stones, and a naturally beveled axial-stone. It has 16 stones left standing with one that has been
misplaced and is said to have been included in a fence construction on a nearby farm.
Carrigagulla was thought to have been built by the fairies, not all are, but you might agree that this one may have been, as the stones come in at
less than 3 feet at the highest. This stone circle is almost 29 feet in diameter.
All of the ASCs featured in this thread are very near the Kenmare River:
If you would like to get lost on the Irish moorland and get eaten by a werewolf, setting out to find Dromoughy circle is probably a great place to
start. This circle is notoriously hard to find, and reaching it is said to require quite a climb.
The 13 stones range in height from 3 feet to 6 feet, becoming shorter as the they get to the axial-stone, making Dromoughy, a prime example of a
Cork-Kerry ASC. The circle includes a large central 'burial' stone, and oddly, the 'piper' in this ensemble lies within
the circle to the
As an admirer of these stone circles from afar, Drombohilly is my favourite to look at. I love its tilted portal stone and the narrowness of the
knife-like stones that make up the circle. I felt a connection with it the first time I saw Julian
images of it.
It is said to lie high up on a ridge, and that although it can be seen clearly from below, that it is deceptively hard to reach. It sits on a ridge
that drops off steeply on either side, and its axial stone is backed by a mountain called Knockanouganish
. Drombohilly has 9 of its stones left
and forms a 26 foot in diameter circle with 6 foot
May the road rise up to meet you, ATS.
Éirinn go Brách