Posted on December 31, 2018
Stone circles are often considered to be some kind of prehistoric seasonal calendar or places of ancient ceremony. The Grange Stone Circle in MB’s HX locality is the largest circle in Ireland, is some 45M in diameter and comprises 113 contiguous stones. It is supported by an earthen embankment, unlike circles of individual standing stones like the famous Stonehenge in England and others. It is estimated to be some 4,500 to 5,000 years old.
The earthen embankment is some 1m higher than the inside of the circle, suggesting that the Grange circle was used for some type of public ritual. MB is aware of the visit of an American psychic lady to the circle a number of years back. During a guided tour of the circle, she informed the local guide that she had seen visions of human sacrifice in the circle. This may have happened of course, but no evidence of such activity has even been encountered during any archaeological excavations. Coins belonging to the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell were discovered during one excavation which evidenced the overnight encampment of the soldiers before attacking the city of Limerick, some 12 miles north. Much Beaker pottery has been discovered at the lowest level of the embankment.
The Grange circle sees large numbers of pre-sunrise visitors on summer and winter solstice mornings. However, in the opinion of MB, the circle is not aligned in any way to the point of sunrise on these dates. Despite many theories of locals and others, nobody truly knows why the circle was constructed, or what purpose it served. It is known that the large stones were sourced from two or three nearby locations. The headstone (largest stone) weighs some 40 metric tonnes and is the largest individual stone in any circle in Ireland.
MB took the following shots today in late afternoon just prior to sunset:
Posted on June 10, 2018
This week’s One Word challenge is MUSIC. Big thanks to D of Travel with Intent blog for her challenging efforts.
If it’s music you want, then there’s a fair amount of it any day you wish back in MB’s Irish homeland. The Irish music scene is of course famous, from Thin Lizzy back in the day to Van Morrison to Enya to various Boy Bands to The Corrs to U2, and numerous others. That’s not to mention the Irish folk music scene which continues to thrive, and where many of the international groups started their young apprenticeships and have their roots. And who wouldn’t like to wander into a quaint Irish pub of an evening, after a day’s hard toil and unwind to the sound of some local musicians playing a few Irish gentle (or rousing) folk tunes or singing an Irish ballad, whilst sipping a tasty Irish brew?
Yes indeed guys, if you’re looking for a music fest, just head on over to MB’s homeland and you are likely to find music under any blade of grass you care to lift. In the kitchen. The living room. The street. The pub. The local hall. The Stone Circle. Etc.
“Stone Circle MB?”
Yes, guys. The Irish play music in Stone Circles. And why not?!
It’s fast approaching the 21 June Summer Solstice, and back in MB’s HX homeland, you are likely to find a musician or two in the pre-dawn twilight welcoming in the early-morning solstice sunshine with some music in the middle of the Grange Stone Circle.
The following shot was taken by MB in June 2014. Annoyingly (for MB) the shot is of 2 musicians who are accompanying another musician/singer out of shot, as evidenced by the directing in which the people are looking. However, it does invoke a certain sense of mystery – who is that musician? male/female? more than one? What’s he/she singing/playing? etc?
“Bullshit MB, it’s just a dodgy shot”.
Ok lads, maybe you got a point!
Posted on July 22, 2016
Many hundreds of people, or even thousands, visit the Grange Stone Circle each year, 1km or so distance from HX. Most feel a sense of energy or awe in the very scenic surroundings.
From the loughgur.com website:
It is the largest standing stone circle in Ireland, 150 feet in diameter and enclosed by 113 standing stones. The largest stone is Rannach Chruim Duibh (Crom Dubh’s Division) and is over 13 feet high and weighs 40 tons. The entrance stones are matched by a pair of equally impressive slabs on the southwest side, whose tops slope down towards each other to form a v-shape.
The placing of hands and forehead on the 40-tonne headstone, to feel the power and energy of the circle, is considered the ‘cherry of top’ of the visit by many.
Posted on June 20, 2016
Good luck to all who will travel to the Grange Stone Circle tomorrow morning – before sunrise – back in MB’s Irish HX homeland. And well done to those who attended this morning – the actual true Solstice morning of 2016, today 20 June being the longest (daylight) day of the 2016 year. Read More
Posted on March 21, 2016
MB is well & truly done with the trip home photos after this one. Read More
Posted on March 17, 2016
Happy St Patricks Day!
MB headed out early one morning in the final days of his trip home. He was at the lake not long after sunrise and was at the Grange Stone Circle approx 8am.
The Grange Stone Circle dates from the bronze age, making it approximately some 4,000 to 5,000 years old. Other local monuments date from an earlier age.
Some might consider that it dates from an older age, but exploratory excavations carried out in recent years down to levels below that of the circle, have discovered evidence that would appear to confirm the above approximate age of the structure. There is further exploratory evidence that there has been continuous human habitation in the HX/Grange/Lough Gur area since that time. That’s a lot of time!
The 113 stones were transported, probably on circular shaped logs rolling along the ground, from a nearby rocky hill called Knockderk. In years past, not too many, this hill was used as a quarry to produce stone for civil engineering purposes.
When you point a camera into the sun, the camera will automatically darken the photo. So the below photo seems as if it was shot a little earlier – just for those interested in the mechanics of cameras & photography. One friend commented that he thought the below shot was taken much earlier in the morning.
From the loughgur.com website. For the record – MB does not agree with some of the content:
Composed of 113 standing stones, the Grange Stone Circle is the largest and finest in Ireland. It was built c. 2,200 B.C. after the arrival of the Bronze Age People in Lough Gur. It is a ritual site akin to our churches of the present day and also served as an astronomical calendar. We can only speculate on the rituals which took place here but know that they were of great importance also to people from surrounding settlements. The circle is aligned on the sunrise of the summer solstice. Included in the archaeological finds were thousands of sherds of Beaker pottery. The breaking of Beaker pots against the standing stones seems to have been part of a ceremony. The largest stone is called Rannach Crom Dubh and is over 40 tonnes in weight and was transported over a distance of 3 miles.
Posted on November 6, 2015
Made in an intricate shape or decorated with complex patterns. elaborate, decorated, embellished, adorned, ornamented, fancy, fussy, ostentatious.
MB is back in his favourite Grange Stone Circle in HX again. It’s Summer solstice morning, 21st June 2015, circa 5am, and the sun is not yet risen. MB is wandering around the circle taking shots of anything interesting that catches his eye in the pre-dawn light. Some visitors have left fruit on some of the stones during the night, as offering to the rising sun. One person has left an ornate (slightly) mini-sun.
MB gives you the mini-sun:
Posted on April 17, 2015
Posted on October 4, 2013
Good morning – circa 7am. Grange Stone Circle, South West Ireland. 21 June 2013. Summer Solstice Morning. The headstone throws a dramatic shadow across the center of the circle.
Posted on July 12, 2013
3 from The Grange Stone Circle on Summer solstice morning. 21st June 2013.