23rd January 2014
The site with everything
Driving into Glengarriff, there is a lane right next to the Eccles Hotel that takes you up high up into the hills above the town. There is a left hand turn. Follow this road which will eventually take you up to a big green barn. Luckily a Farmer gave us directions half way up.
Park up by the green barn, then follow the old green track past the ruined farmhouse. This brings you out onto the rough open moorland. The weather isn't brilliant today - grey skies and drizzle, but there is a break in the rain.
The first stones come into view as you hit the moorland. A fairly large standing stone, next to a radial cairn circle. The stone in the Northern tip of Reenmeen West Townland is aligned NE-SW and stands at 2m x 1.5mx 0.7m and is set just 3m from the radial cairn circle. There are commanding views over Bantry Bay and over to Sugar Loaf Mountain to the SW. The radial cairn is made up of 6 low stones, set in a circle of around 7m diameter.
There are plenty of barbed wire fences marking Townland boundaries to be negotiated to reach the rest of the stones.Some are easier to get over/through than others !
About 500m NNE is a three stone alignment. Unfortunately, the barbed wire fence forming the boundary between Canrooska and Currakeal Townlands runs straight through it, which spoils it somewhat ! They run ENE-WSW the stones are evenly spaced and range in height between the smallest stone at the ENE 1,05m, middle stone 1.35m and WSW stone 1.45m. A boulder burial lies some 50m to the NE but I'll look at that one on the way back.
The weather is still holding out as I head NW towards Canrooska circle and row. It's about 100m to the NW but isn't easy to pick out amongst the deep heather and gorse.
It becomes clearer the nearer I get. This small 5 stone circle has 1 stone missing. Once again the alignment is NE-SW. Another 3 stone row sits just South of the circle. The largest stone lies flat in the heather. Measuring 4m it would have dwarfed the other two (0.7m and 0.4m respectively). Like it's neighbour on the hill it is aligned ENE-WSW. A small cairn makes up this trio but is more or less buried in the undergrowth.
Another standing stone stands about another 100m higher up the hill NNE of the circle. Again it is not obvious in the deep heather, and I find it more by luck than judgement.
This one is 1.8m high by 1.5 x 0.6. Aligned E-W
Heading back for another look at the circle, then over to the barbed wire fence. This one is perhaps the hardest to get over, but I manage it with dignity just about left in tact and wander over to the Boulder Burial. Four supports hold up a hefty large stone.
I wander back over to the row and follow the fence down to find a suitable place to get over - well under is easier this time !. The drizzle is starting again so I retrace my steps back to Reenmeen Stone then back to the green lane and the car. There was some rock art somewhere, but I didn't get a chance to look properly for it. All in all though a very interesting complex, consisting of a huge variety of different sorts of megalithic monuments, but obviously all connected. I'm going to have to make a return visit when the sun is shining.