15th December 2014
The sun is shining once again and we are heading up to the wilds on the Eastern side of Nowen Hill between Castle Donovan and Dunmanway.
First, we are looking for the stone row in Cullenagh Townland. It's not the easiest to find, but after passing the ruined circle at Cullenagh, go past the left hand lane and on a few hundred metres just past where the forestry ends on the right hand side. There is a dilapidated old metal gate and you can just about fit a car in at the side of the road just beyond it. Back at the gate - it's easier to go through the wire - though the first few steps the other side are somewhat wet !. Carrying on uphill, the going is boggy but easy enough. A Snipe flushes and zig zags off, giving it's squelching call as it goes.
The row eventually comes into sight and it's a beauty ! Three stones set NE-SW overlook the Clodagh Valley and Nowen Hill is prominent across the valley.
The stones vary in height. The largest at 1.8m is at the SW end, the middle is 1.4m and the NE stone is the smallest at 1.2m. Apparently, according to the NMS, there was a fourth stone set just West of the middle stone (shown on the OS 1842 map). There is no sign of it now.
This is a must see site, definitely one of my favourites.
Back at the car, we carry on past the lake, then take a left, which leads to the Mealagh Valley.
The road crosses the infant River Bandon, and in the meadow on the left sits an impressive standing stone. This is Farnanes standing stone.
There's a pull in to park and an extremely muddy track leads into the field.
The stone is 2m tall and is aligned NE-SW. Nowen Hill is of course very prominent to the South West.
Next, we carry on into the Mealagh Valley, looking for the standing stone at Cloonygorman.
It sits in a field by a small house, looking very forlorn, in need of a bit of pruning !
This one is 1.6 high x 1.8 x 0.7.
There is a second stone in the Townland, but as usual, time is running out for us again, so it will have to be for a future visit.