Wednesday 8 February 2012

Rae na Scríne

Reenascreena Stone Circle
20th January 2012
It's grey and windy out this morning, even though the actual forecast is telling me that the sun is shining. Maybe we're just stuck in the clouds up here on our hill !
Still, I'm determined to walk up to Reenascreena stone circle today.... whatever the weather.
The weather is kind of improving as we turn off at Connonagh and drive up the lane to Reenascreena. We spot the fields that I have to walk through... and try to find the farmer or someone to ask permission. There's no answer at the bungalow or the Farmhouse... just a friendly horse having a look out of his stable to see if it's anyone interesting.
I've come this far so decide that I'm going to go up to the circle anyway - permission or not !, so we park in the gateway. Joanie sits in the car and I put my boots on and head up the long field towards the gate way up on the horizon. Over the next gate and walk to the top of the hill. There it is ! ... a perfect 13 stone circle. Oh,..... and there are the horses.... and they have seen me and they are heading my way.
Now I like horses, but.... NOT close up, so I quicken my step a little and make it to the safety of the circle, which is surrounded by an electric  fence.I don't think that there's any actual electricity running through it, as I can't see a battery or anything.There is also a ditch and henge surrounding the circle... I've read a description that described the ditch water as foul... well I would add stinking rancid and stagnant to that. Fortunately someone has put three short planks across, though they do sink about 4 inches when trodden on. There was frog spawn everywhere as my feet sink into the gooey morrass.
The henge negotiated i am standing inside the circle. It's reminiscent of a Dartmoor circle or even Goodacre on Bodmin Moor. The stones are all still standing, and there are two stones in the circle. Two portal stones stand opposite the recumbant giving the circle an axis ENE -WSW.
When excavated by Fahy in 1959-1969 a central pit was found filled with earth. Another pit was found 10 ft North and was lined with charcoal and cremated bone. A further four pits were uncovered under the bank, containing broken stone.
In Irish Rae na Scríne means "the level ground of the shrine", and It looks like the vilage was named from this circle.
The horses have joined me, grazing just outside, curious, keeping an eye on me but not threatening in anyway.
I take some pics from inside and walk the plank again to exit.....
I only take a few photo's from outside. I would have liked to of taken a lot more, but didn't fancy it too much with those horses giving me the eye.
They watch as I retrace my steps back to the gate and disappear down the long field back to the car.
Shoes back on, we head off, taking the next left, down a lane, which gets narrower and steeper the further we go. At one point, I wonder whether to turn round as it really is degenerating into a rough track with deep grooves where the rain water has been running down the road. The bottom of the car scrapes one of the ruts !!! Please remind me NEVER to go down this road ever again.... at least not in my car !
We stick with it, there are a few houses over to the right, and soon we come to a small T cross. Apparently we have passed Castle Salem but neither of us saw it, not that we know of anyway and the road now improves and widens. A few more junctions and we are by Quaker Cross and passing the Tinneel stones and down the road to Rosscarbery. I'm in the circle mood now, so we take a chance and turn up to the cowshed near Bohonagh Circle, The place is deserted, I don't fancy jumping the fence and wandering around here without permission, so we go back to the main road and give the house opposite a quick knock. No answer.... oh well, looks like another day for this one perhaps !
There's nothing left but to head into Supervalu in Clonakilty to get some of their delicious custard doughnuts !

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