Friday 10 February 2012

Murrahin North Stone Row

Murrahin North Stone Row
10th February 2012

We've been meaning to visit Murrahin North Stone Row for some time now. We pass it most days, always promising we'll walk over one day !
Well, today is the day. I haven't been anywhere for a week and I'm going stone stir crazy !!
First things first, we head down to Murrahin to check that it's ok to wander around. We aren't too sure who to ask, but there's no answer at the first two houses,that we try. Third time lucky, as a lovely little old lady answers the door. It's her land, and she's happy for us to walk over. We stand and have a chat, before heading back to the main road and then down the Ballybawn road.
After a mile the larger stone comes into sight on our right. There's a convenient gateway to park in, before we set off over the fields.
The gate has been tied by a knot expert by the look of it, not just one bit of bailer twine, but two ! It takes a minute to work it out, but we're in and following the grass track. It's funny, how a massive standing stone, that is so obvious from back on the road, can disappear so quickly, when you are looking for it !
It's only about 500yds from the road, but the mass of Willows makes it difficult to see. There's a small stream running to our right, and a very wet boggy are ahead. The local frogs are making a fair bit of noise as we wander by. Eventually, we spot it and change direction over a small hill, down through the wet grass to a gate. J only has her shoes on, so doesn't fancy tackling the ankle deep cow slurry/peat bog area by the gate, so waits on the hill. Meadow Pipits are flying out from the grass calling rather indignantly, as I jump over the gate and follow the hedge up through the field. There's a large gap into a small enclosed field and the stones.
They stand side on as I approach, skirting the bog. Three stones, two of which are still standing. The third lies beside the other two.

The larger of the stones is around ten feet tall, whilst the smaller is split down the middle, probably deliberately.It is difficult to see where the third stone would have fitted in.All in all this is a fascinating row. The alignment is  slightly off NE - SW and pointing just to the left of Mount Gabriel. Clive Ruggles, in his paper "Stone rows of three or more stones in South-West Ireland" gives it a mention, but does not visit the site.

The weather starts to come in, so I head back through the field, jump the gate and meet J on the hill, before we walk back to the car.
Joanie notices a Common Lizard in the grass. It's very docile, perhaps just out of hibernation ..... it is very mild today !

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