June 2010.

Wednesday, 30th June, 2010: Sorry about the lack of updates this past week. I'm away at the moment and I connection isn't great so I can't really upload much. I'm back next Wednesday and I will make up for my lack of posts then.

Friday, 25th June, 2010: I've added a mist popular feature in the side-bar. I've recently added a tracker to the site so I can see which pages are being visited the most. I thought it would be interesting to see which places are the most popular. Obviously it will take a few weeks to get an accurate picture...a lot of recent posts are in the top ten but I'm sure the well known places will soon come through. I will update it regularly.

I might head to Laois this weekend. I've been planning a trip for a long time and I want to get to it. I'm nearing the end of a PhD so I won't really be doing many visits so ending with a trip to Laois will be nice. Come September I should be able to start making regular visits to places again. But I do have enough places to upload in the meantime so there will still be regular updates. By the end of the year I think there will be over 250 places listed on the site which I will be delighted with. Hopefully there will also be two more counties up and running on the site by then also.

Monday, 21st June, 2010: Summer solstice! And what fine weather we had for it. The past five years have all been awful so to catch an alignment has been hard. I went to Grange Lios near Lough Gur in Co. Limerick yesterday and today to catch the solstice. It was an amazing experience and you can read about it by clicking here.

Saturday, 19th June, 2010: Had a spin around Tipp today. Fairly successful day but I didn't get to everything I had hoped to so there's another trip to the south of Tipp to be had soon.

I started off at Ballinlough. Great standing stone there and quite a monster but in a horrible location in a hedge next to a farm and road. I couldn't get to the barrow across the road because cattle were being moved about. Plus it's not completely grown over so maybe a winter trip is in order.

I moved on and made my way to Bauraglanna stone circle in the Silvermines...what a great place. Getting there is interesting as the road gets narrower and narrower and I parked up next to an old abandoned cottage. The trackway (and that's being generous) is nearly completely overgrown and because it was so warm I wasn't wearing a jacket so I got ripped to shreds trying to get through the gorse. Eventually I got there and over the gates and started the hunt for the circle. There seemed to be the faintest path through the grass and lo and behold it led me to the circle. What a location for a circle...you can see why they chose the site. It's great. I sat here and had a cup of coffee and just took the place in for a while.

Next it was down to Knockcurraghbola Commons and to the wedge tomb. Again, great place and really friendly owners. The farmer asked me a 1001 questions about my boots and seemed thrilled that I was there to see the tomb. There was even a gate in the fence just for the tomb. I really liked this place. There were wonderful purple flowers growing around the tomb which really made the site come to life. Freeze thaw seems to be effecting this site as big chunks of the capstones are starting to break off. There was an odd stone with two holes drilled through and grooves in the side. I have no idea what this is...I'm assuming it's a later stone.

I tried to see the other tombs in the nearby crowlands but cattle were being moved again! Bad luck. I had a quick look at Loughbrack wedge tomb but a rather threatening horse wouldn't let me into see it...so I had to look from a distance.

Stopped at Donohill on the way down south...really nice motte and bailey here...unusual. Time was ticking on and I decided to skip Shrough and head for St Berrihert's Kyle...horses again! A few immediately came to the gate and one started doing that threatening gesture with the hooves so that was a no go. When I got home I realised Toureen Peacaun was nearby...argh! Well, those two along with Shrough and Corderry give me an excuse to go back. I really want to get to St Berrihert's...it looks fantastic.

Stopped at Pallas Green castle on the way home and that was that...set the alarm for 3am...off to see the sun rise at Lough Gur...

Monday, 14th June, 2010: Can't believe it's been a month since I last had any news for you.  It's been a quiet month and I didn't manage to get out to anywhere in May which was disappointing but these things happen.  Needless to say June should hopefully be much busier.  Last weekend I managed to get to some cross slabs and church in Laois and this coming weekend I will be revisiting Leap Castle.  On my first visit I only managed to get a few external pics but I have been in contact with the owner and I will be getting inside this Friday I hope! Saturday hold tombs and standing stones in Tipperary for me.  There's loads of tombs and couple stone circles in the Silvermines that I'd like to get to weather permitting.  Also it is the summer solstice this weekend and I will be heading down to Lough Gur to watch the sunrise through the entrance of the stone circle at Grange.  Early start!  I'm heading there a day early to see when it will hopefully fairly quiet there.  Hope to see some of you there!

Also the site updates are coming along nicely...albeit slowly. I've completely re-published many early posts with updated information, formats and pictures and hopefully they should be all completed in a few weeks.  Then, at last, all the posts will be consistent with the same format.  I am also replacing all early pictures with hi-res versions. When I started the site I had to compress all my pictures but now I can upload hi-res so all the compressed pictures are on their way out!  I'll get there eventually!

Surprisingly it looks like Roscommon maybe the next county to be added. I'll be heading for a trip out there in late July and I might as well use that as an excuse to carry on with that county. Kilkenny, Clare and Galway should follow soon after.  I hope to add two more counties this year at least.

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