Visits For April, 2010

Sunday, 11th April 2010

Another Midlands Barrow Cemetery

A while ago I mentioned that I'd tried to look around the rest of the barrows at Great Heath in County Laois, but had not done so because they're dotted around a golf course and I don't fancy getting hit by a stray golf ball. After reviewing the maps and some aerial photographs of the area I saw that the all but one of the barrows are actually around the outside of the golf course and not actually on it.

One thing that the aerial photos showed was that many of the barrows appear to be in thick gorse cover, which makes finding them a bit awkward. Anyway, I thought I'd try anyway and I'm glad I did: only one of the barrows I went looking for was actually unreachable. The rest are all pretty much in the open, although many have their own gorse colonies. Several of the barrows have recently had the gorse bushes burnt off and a huge swathe of the Heath had also been cleared.

I managed to see two ringforts and seven barrows in just two hours. One of the ringforts is now used as a green on the Heath golf course and one of the barrows has been used as the 7th tee. There are still two barrows in the area that I have to see and I'll be back to do as soon as I can. The good thing is that, once I've add them to, I'll have completed another of my goals for this year - 30 sites in Laois.

Another reason for wanting to go to this barrow cemetery was to test out how good barrows show up in 3-D pictures. They're notoriously difficult to convey in a photo unless the angle of the ligt is just right, but hopefully 3-D will help you see them better. I haven't looked at the pictures yet, so we'll have to wait and see!

The Great Heath - Greatheath (Co. Laois)Barrow Cemetery4 New Images
Greatheath (Co. Laois)Ring Fort4 New Images
Greatheath II (Co. Laois)Barrow2 New Images
Greatheath III (Co. Laois)Barrow5 New Images
Greatheath IV (Co. Laois)Barrow3 New Images
Greatheath V (Co. Laois)Barrow5 New Images
Greatheath VI (Co. Laois)Barrow3 New Images
Greatheath VII (Co. Laois)Barrow4 New Images
Greatheath I (Co. Laois)Barrow4 New Images

Sunday, 25th April 2010

Another Midlands Trip

After my last outing to Laois I decided that I'd go back. Well, I had actually planned to head for Roscommon, but I seem to have mislaid my OS map 33. It was a lovely day and I wasn't going to sit in the house again.

I didn't get to see much, but what I did see was really interesting. I managed to get to two cashels or stone forts, a very, very nice barrow and a ringfort. There are actually three cashels in Laois and I probably should have gone to all of them, but the third and best one will have to wait for another day.

The barrow is one of the finest I've seen to date. It has a huge ditch around it and the mound is over 3m high. It's only downside is the fact that it is covered and surrounded by trees, which hide it from view and block all of its views.

Tinnahinch 1 (Co. Laois)Stone Fort4 New Images
Tinnahinch 2 (Co. Laois)Stone Fort5 New Images
Carrowreagh (Co. Laois)Barrow8 New Images
Carrowreagh (Co. Laois)Ring Fort6 New Images
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