Sunday 11 March 2012

A complex complex at Mill Little and yesterdays burial found !

Mill Little
10th March 2012

Today we're going to have another look for the elusive boulder burial at Coolcoulaghta. Looking at the map when we got home yesterday, it looks so obvious at the side of the road. A quick check on the national monument survey web site to check that it is actually still there.... it is !
So, today, we are going to approach from the opposite direction and see how that goes.
So we head for Durrus along the Glenlough Road from the N71 and try to work out where the left turning that we need is. Hmmmm we think that this is the one, as we head downhill and round the sharp bend which takes us back steeply uphill. It's all looking familiar now and it should be somewhere around the next bend and along.... there it is ! It's so obvious coming in this direction.
There's a handy little pull in. I won't need my boots for this one, it's only just up the track !
Through the gate, up the track and there it is before me. A wire fence had enclosed it but is now half pulled down. I step a bit nearer and my foot disappears about a foot down into the black peaty boggy goo. Maybe I should of put my boots on after all ! There's a nice squelching noise as  I extract my foot, luckily my shoe is still attached to my foot !
The boulder burial itself sits in the corner of the "boggy" field, looking out over Dunmanus Bay, with Mount Corrin to the South West. There are two visible support stones . Photo's taken and scenery admired, I head back to the car.
Coolcoulaghta Boulder Burial

Coolcoulaghta Boulder Burial
We have got to call into Bantry next....and  I've now got a distinctive sort of peat bog aroma about me. Hopefully no one will notice !
After a successful stop in Bantry, we are now supplied with lemon and choc chip cakes and we're off up the road to Mill Little.
Turning off at Ballylickey and following the road as if going to the Coomhoola Valley, go left, following the signs for Priests Leap instead of going over the (second) bridge. After a while, as you come into Mill Big, there's a left hand turn. Follow this road, over a bridge then right and over another bridge. There's a small layby on the left (with a big pile of chippings). Go through the two gates and head down the field, you can't miss it !
Stone Pair at Mill Little
Five Stone Circle at Mill Little
 The Mountains of Cobduff (An Cabh Dubh) look down on a confusing mix of stones.. the complex complex that is Mill Little !
The obvious feature as you walk down the field, is the row of three boulder burials. The third supported by three stones, like a little Dolmen.
The first stones that you come across however, are a stone pair. Aligned NNE-SSW. The SSW stone is 1.2 metres high, whilst the NNE stone is just 0.75 metres. Other stones lay scattered beside. Next comes the line of boulder burials. The support stones of the first next to the large boulder. The second has no support stones and just rests on the surface. The third, as already mentioned, looks untouched and is a great example of a boulder burial.
Mill Little

Mill Little

Mill Little
Finally, there is a five stone circle. Three uprights remain, with a fallen slab and a broken stump. The portals seem to have been set end on, thus forming an entrance.
Some people think that there was originally a large multi stone circle here, which was destroyed and replaced later by the five stone circle. Indeed, there is a pile of large stones by the field hedge beside the river.
Breeny More comes to mind for comparisons. The truth, will probably never be fully known, but it is a fascinating and enigmatic place nonetheless.
Back to the car for a piece of cake, before heading back home, already thinking about where to go tomorrow.
Mill Little

Mill Little

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