The following websites cover a large area and cover a lot of subject matter and are all useful in their own right.  Click the name of the website to visit it.  If you know of other links or own a website that you think should be listed here please contact me:

Abandoned Ireland - Really great website which documents abandoned buildings in Ireland.  Subject matter can range from a small cottage to a castle.  It is also very nicely presented.

Big Stones - Good site covering stone circles in England and Scotland.

Castles on the Web - This is essentially a links website providing links to a plethora of castle related websites on the web.  Click below.

Castles on the Web

Denise Labadie Art - The website of American artist Denise Labadie who specialises in painting of Irish sites.

Documenting Ireland - Excellent new website which does what it says, it documents Ireland and features many landmarks which are of great interest.

Early Christian Ireland - This is the biggest database of early Christian sites in Ireland on the web.  Great site with good information and plenty of pictures, some of which are provided by 'The Standing Stone.'

Fionn's Travels - Blog of Fionn and his travels to historical places around the country.

Historic Sites of Ireland - Blog by talented photographer Tony Mulraney covering sites from around the country.

The Irish Antiquarian - Brand new site which I am involved in. This site aims to provide a wide ranging database of Irish sites. Users can upload information and pictures.

Irish Antiquities -
Fantastic site covering a wide range of monument types and all of Ireland. The site owner has been building this database for decades offline and has now uploaded pictures from the 1970's to the present day.

Irish Archaeology - New site dedicated to Irish archaeology.

Irish Heritage Towns - Comprehensive site that covers Irish heritage towns, based in Abbeyleix.

Irish Megaliths - Great site by Anthony Weir.  This site contains an awful lot of information and is well worth a visit...well many visits.

Knowth - Site dealing with the monuments of the Boyne Valley.  Great site with lots of information and pictures.

Laois Genealogy - Laois based website about genealogical studies in that county.

Megalithic Ireland - Nice site with good pictures covering ancient monuments in Ireland.

Megalithic Monuments of Ireland - This site of one of my favourites and is regularly updated with new pictures and information.

Megalithomania - This is the jewel of the internet and the largest resource out there for ancient sites in Ireland.  The site recently boasts forums and 3D pictures.

The Modern Antiquarian - User run website based in the book of the same name by Julian Cope.  This site covers ancient monuments from all over Europe.  Anyone can upload pictures and write about sites.  Ireland is well represented but now the Megalithomania forums are more active on Irish sites.

The National Monuments Service - This is the official website of the Irish governments National Monument Service.  Contains plenty of useful information about antiquities in Ireland.  Particularly useful is the sites and monuments database where you can search for a particular monuments.  Unfortunately it doesn't give pictures or information about a site, just it's type and location.

Prehistoric Waterford - A fantastic website dedicated to megaliths in county Waterford.  This site, like 'The Standing Stone' is ever growing and expanding.

Sacred Springs and Ancient Places - Website of Gary Branigan who offers tours of holy wells and various sites in the Dublin/Kildare area. Gary's book 'Ancient and Holy Wells of Dublin' is the most complete study of holy wells in Dublin on the market. A must for anyone with an interest in holy wells.

Seandalaiocht - Great website following archaeology news in Ireland with fantastic pictures and plenty of information.

Shadows and Stone - Website of amazingly talented photographer Ken Williams. Here you will find some great pictures of ancient sites.

Stonehunters - Excellent website covering many varied sites.

Under the Oak - Blog that covers information about Irish saints. Very useful resource for lovers of ecclesiastical sites.

Some of my posts also appear on .  Although The Standing Stone is a purely secular site I also post on 'St Conleth's Catholic Heritage' so that people in that area can find information on the ecclesiastical history of their parish.

News, Updates and Visit Blog.

Wednesday, 26th October, 2016: It has been too long since I updated this section! Between kids, moving house (twice!), work and other things it's been a mad year but I'm at last settling down to get some good work done. You've probably seen I've put up two new posts as of late and I have a third ready to go this week. Podcasting was promised earlier in the year, as were more reviews and these are still in the pipeline. My sincerest thanks to those who have donated to the site. This has all be used for the running costs of the site and to get the equipment necessary to complete podcasting. I am hoping to do some podcasts for the Lea Castle Conservation Project by interviewing members of the committee to get a better idea about that project so please keep an eye out for that. I've also experimented with Facebook live video as of late. I was happy enough with both attempts and I hope that I can do more of that soon (and get better at it!). Lastly, we still hope to bring you some video content but this will probably be in the new year. Happy Samhain all...

Saturday, 16th January, 2016: Our first blog post of the year, Dunluce Castle in Antrim, has been well read so we're delighted with that. It was also our first foray into Northern Ireland. We have another Antrim based post for next week before moving onto Carlow.

We've also purchased equipment for podcasting which we hope to begin towards the end of the month with a view to putting our first show out there in February or March. We are talking to a few potential guests and should hopefully have an interesting show for you very soon. This, however, would not be possible if it were not for the generosity of some of our readers who made generous donations that allowed us to get the necessary equipment. We hope you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 13th January, 2016: Happy New Year! Looking back I realise that I only made one update last year back in March. It was a very quiet year indeed. This is mainly because we had a new addition to our little family and naturally all of our energy went in to that. Towards the end of the year we also had the stress of moving house. However, things have settled down nicely now and we are looking forward to a much more productive year! A new blog post will appear this week and we have some very exciting guest-posts lined up for the coming months. We also hope to bring you a greater variety of content this year. The long promised review section will be launched in the coming weeks. We are also looking at bringing you come form of video content as well as podcasts. Podcasts are looking closer than we previously thought due to the generous donations for readers allowing us to procure the necessary equipment. As we grow bigger so do our costs so any donation to our little site allows us to bring you more and more quality content. Please consider making a small donation by clicking the donate button at the top of the left hand side menu.

As usual we are planning some exciting site visits and will keep you updated about these on our Facebook page. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Speaking of Instagram we are posting a picture of an archaeological site a day for the 366 days of this year. It's proving quite popular so far. All the best...

Tuesday, 31st March, 2015: A belated Happy New Year to you all. I've been very neglectful as of late. The latter half of 2014 was taken up with wedding plans (the wedding went off perfectly on December 19th) and after that it's been baby prep as we're expecting our second son in August! So this severely limits our site-visit time. However, things are moving along. We're still involved in the Lea Castle Conservation Project. The report will be launched at the end of the month and the pictures are now on the site. We also had a bit of a technological disaster and lost all of our pictures from 2014. We had some great stuff which is now all gone. We still hold out hope that we will be able to get them back.

We took a trip to Sligo recently where I presented a paper in the Weather Beaten Archaeology conference in Sligo IT. The paper was called "Coolbanagher Castle and Social Media Outrage." The paper along with the others presented will be collected and published at some point in the future. We then spent a week in the North and visited some interesting sites that I hope to upload here in the coming months.

Saturday, 19th July, 2014: It's been a while since I've updated this page so I thought I'd check in a give a little update. I've been updating old pages and I'm nearly through that now and I'm slowly going through the process of watermarking all the pictures. I'm doing that because people have been taking them without permission. I don't mind people using the pictures as long as then credit them and link back to the original page. We've made a few visits to places around Laois, Carlow and Tipperary. We visited Tullaun Castle in Tipperary which is being restored and had a very pleasant afternoon with Kevin and Sonja who are so passionate about heritage and restoration. They are doing great work there.

Things are moving forward on the Lea Castle Conservation Project (find us on Facebook). We've had an conservation architect, an ecologist, a bat specialist and a landscape archaeologist will be visiting the site soon. Hopefully in September we will be beginning clearance of the growth around the castle. It remains closed to the public.

I've been making semi-regular updates. Still not back to my three updates a week, but at least months aren't slipping by so I'm happy at the moment.

Friday, 14th March, 2014: Things are picking up. Since my appearance on RTE Radio 1 the hits have nearly doubled on the site and still going strong. It's also been busy offline as well. Last weekend we travelled to Sligo for the weekend and visited various places while there and on the way. Knocklane promontory fort was particularly spectacular and Ballinafad castle was also pretty amazing. We also spent some time in Roscommon and visited the friary and castle in the town there. The castle is one of Ireland's biggest castle and should be much more known about. We were lucky enough to meet Frank Scott there who is part of the Roscommon Heritage Society and he kindly gave us a tour of the site and pointed out various interesting features that we would never have spotted on our own. We also made a list of places in the vicinity that we want to come back to visit including Rindoon Castle which sits on a small peninsula. The remains of an abandoned town also sit near by.

This week I also attended a meeting in Portarlington in Co. Laois about the proposed conservation of Lea Castle, one of only three remaining medieval castles in Laois. The meeting was well attended and a conservation report is now in the early stages of being developed. I am going to a second meeting next week and the ball should well and truly be rolling at that stage.  

Saturday, 1st March, 2014: It's been a crazy week. Following Storm Darwin, portions of Coolbanagher Castle in Co. Laois fell over. Following an inspection by the National Monuments Service permission was given for dangerous parts of the castle to be removed. However, the entire castle was demolished and it is little more than a pile of rocks. I went out the site immediately and I have just posted the pictures (go to the recent additions menu in the sidebar for the link) today. I've spoken to RTE Radio 1 for their Morning Ireland show and the interview should be broadcast between 7-9am on Monday morning. It appeared in the Irish Independent today and will be in the Herald on Monday. There is also the possibility of a TV piece next week. I have also been asked by the Laois Heritage Society to write an article about the castle for their summer journal. I will be collaborating with Sean Murray from Laois Archaeology on this as he has done the bulk of the work in getting this story promoted to the national media.

In other news I am pleased to announce that The Standing Stone team has expanded. I have had many people accompany me on outings over the years but it is great to have another person on board. Maria J. Guillen will be taking the majority of the pictures for The Standing Stone in the future. I still have a vast about of my own to upload so I will state when they are her pictures as opposed to mine. Maria is a photographer and captures the sites much more effectively than I ever have. I am very excited by this.

Wednesday, 1st January, 2014: Happy New Year to all of you that use this site. I've had about three years of neglect of the Standing Stone but my number one resolution for 2014 is to get this site going again. 2013 was a bad year for many many reasons so I am looking forward to a better year ahead and getting back out there to see the sites and post them up here. All the best...

Sunday, 3rd November, 2013: What a few months. My laptop died and then did my internet connection which was away for repair for nearly a month (it was supposed to take three days). However, I'm with a new laptop at last and the modem is back and I'm up and running again (I hope). Preparing some updates at the moment. I should also announce that my partner, who is a student photographer, is taking a lot of pictures for the site now so some of them will be hers from now on. Hopefully, we'll get out to see some sites soon. 

Sunday, 4th August, 2013: We took an impromptu trip down to Co. Kilkenny on Friday. We saw a very ruined church near Galmoy and then pressed onto Grangefertagh to see the beautiful round tower and carved tomb. Then it was onto Johnstown to see the doorway that had been removed from Grangefertagh. We were going to look at some other local castles and a star shaped fort but the weather closed in and we had to abandon any further explorations for the day. This is an area that I will have to go back to soon. It was also my first venturing into Co. Kilkenny so once I've been to a few more sites there I will start putting them onto the site. Also planning some visits to Meath and Wicklow over the coming weeks hopefully.

Sunday, 26th May, 2013: What a few months. I can only describe the first half of 2013 as one of the hardest in my life. I won't get into the details since they are personal but between various issues it's been a hell of a time and finally it seems to be ending. We are finally entering a period of calm and I find myself, once again, with some time to do things. I've been to a few sites lately and preparing some updates for the site (long overdue) and hopefully that will be up soon. Also I've set up a new Facebook page in addition to the profile so please like and share. It can be found by clicking here.

Friday, 11th January, 2013: Finally, Clare is part of the Standing Stone! I've been meaning to get this online for over six months but finally it's up! Expect more Clare sites in the following week. I started big by posting up Holy Island which has a multitude of sites. Two other things to report. Firstly, the iPhone, Android app the 'Ireland Travel Kit.' no contains articles from the Standing Stone and this can be downloaded from iTunes and Android stores. Lastly, some users have been experiencing issues with viewing the site on Firefox. I have no idea what is happening, but pages are not loading correctly on the current version. This bug might fix itself with subsequent updates but for now I suggest using a different browser while viewing the site.

Sunday, 6th January, 2013: Happy New Year to you all. My New Years resolution is to get out to site more often and spend some time each week working on the website. 2012 was a slow year indeed but this isn't surprising considering I became a father. Everything else seems to fall behind when you have a child. But this year I'm making some time for other things and it's a good excuse to start taking my son to places but obviously I won't be dragging him to the tops of mountains just yet! I've started uploading a large update which should be linked in by the end of the week and finally Co. Clare will be on the Standing Stone.

Monday, 6th August, 2012: I have just looked at my last news entry where I promised to upload something in April. Well that didn't really happen. It's now August and I've got nowhere. Between being a new dad, finishing some important work stuff and starting a whole load of new stuff I have done nothing to the site. Well I have at least answered some months old emails and I'm now sitting down to write an update now. So at last things are moving again but I can't promise it will come with the same gets in the way. Anyway, thank you to those of you who check back in every now and again. I hope it's not getting too boring.

Monday, 23rd April, 2012: Sorry for the prolonged absence. They seem to be coming more frequently these days. I took a few weeks off doing anything website related to spend with my new son who was born on the 26th March. Naturally, he is my prime focus at the moment. I've started preparing some updates again which should start appearing in the next week or so. I will try to get something up for April so I don't go two months with nothing going up. Also realised that I seriously need to archive the old news. I haven't done that since January 2011. 

Tuesday, 21st February, 2012: Made a second trip out for this year exploring South Clare, near Limerick. There is a wealth of sites in that area and I only scratched the surface. Plenty of ancient sites and a few later medieval ones. Quin Abbey was a highlight, although I will have to return there as the gates into the abbey itself were locked until the high season after Easter comes around. I hope to add Clare to the site in the next week or two beginning with Holy Island in Lough Derg. I think I could spend a life time in Clare and not see everything.

Thursday, 9th February, 2012: Busy start to the year and life seems to just be getting fuller. I've been posting up stuff most weeks but not with the regularity I would like. Work and the impending arrival of my son has kept me busy. I made my first trip out of the year and explored Glendalough with a group of fellow enthusiasts. Last year I didn't add a single county to the Standing Stone, so this year I'm going to be adding three to make up for this. My aim is to have stuff for every county and I've been neglecting this target. I am hoping to add Wicklow, Clare and Meath in the coming weeks and months. I like to have a few sites ready for a county before I add anything and I have Glendalough, Holy Island and Loughcrew all sat there so it makes sense to get them up onto the site. This should inspire me to add further stuff to those counties soon. I want to start exploring Kilkenny soon as well. It's one of those things that has been on my to do list for years. Belated Happy New Year to you all...

Saturday, 31st December, 2011: Wow...what a year! For me this year has been a rush and unfortunately it has been the website that has suffered as a result. I can't promise things will get better in 2012 but hopefully I will be able to make more updates but I will be a father soon and that will be my priority. I also successfully defended my doctoral thesis just before last. I wish all my readers a happy new year and a great 2012 and thank you for still reading and making this site more successful in 2011.

Saturday, 19th November, 2011: It's been a busy busy couple of months. I've been busy finishing rewrites of my PhD and hopefully that is now it. Because of that I have really been neglecting the site but now I have some time I will be giving it some care and attention. Apart from a weeks holiday soon I will be working on here every day making updates and editing old pages which I really want to get wrapped up. I don't know if I will be able to get the updates going at the speed I like because I'm now an expecting father and I just don't have the time to get out and about to see places like I use to. However, I will persevere!

On a sadder note, I just wanted to say how sad I was to hear about the imminent closure of It's been miles ahead of the rest of us online and it will be a huge loss to the online community.

Tuesday, 16th August, 2011: One of my long term goals for this site was to set up a forum. However, there were other forums and another was not necessary. Unfortunately, things have changed and I can now set up my own forum, although it comes only because another has disappeared. I have no idea how successful this forum will be and it all depends on how many people join and more importantly, how many are active. So feel free to get involved. The link to the forums is in the side bar and do read the conditions before you join. Security is strict and initially you will be required to make an introduction before being given more permissions. This is purely an anti-spam measure. Have fun!

Tuesday, 5th July, 2011: I'm glad that I'm finally managing to get this site running again. I'm not at the speed I use to be but I'm definitely making progress. New updates are being prepared and I'm also going back to the my early posts and updating them with hi-res pictures and new formatting so that everything has the same format. It's taking a while but I'm nearly there. Only about 15 posts to reformat. I still have loads offline that needs to be put on the site so keep an eye out for that. I don't think I'll be getting anywhere this weekend as I have a lot of work to do but hopefully I can a few updates prepared. Last weekend I took my fiancée to Roscrea to show her the lovely castle and other sites in the town. I finally got into the Blackmills Museum and saw the original high cross and the Roscrea Pillar which is a mysterious 8th century Christian box, probably from Monaincha Abbey. I had wanted to see this for quite sometime and was delighted to finally get to see it. I will make this a priority and get it uploaded so that Roscrea is finally properly covered. There is just one tower house outside the town in Dungar that I am yet to see and then that's Roscrea completely covered.

Wednesday, 22nd June, 2011: I have been quietly busy this past month and made a few little but productive trips out. I've visited a few old churchyards in Offaly and Tipperary and made a trip into Carlow and Kildare so I have plenty to be getting on with. I've finally managed to upload Carrowmore in Sligo which was a mammoth project but is finally done! I've recently been back to Clonmacnoise which is always a delight and I will add those pictures soon, including those from St. Ciaran's church which was covered in plastic and not visible the last time I was there. I went to the lovely Clonkeen church in Co. Limerick last weekend and am planning to do the 'tourist' trial in Limerick this weekend. They will, of course, eventually find their way on here eventually. It's been an exciting year for visits so far and I hope it continues. The problem is finding the time to upload.

Tuesday, 24th May, 2011: Finally I am back online. I have been moving house recently and have only today got my internet connection sorted out. I've made a new upload and there will be more to come. I've been pretty busy lately and have managed to get out and about to see lots of places. I have been into both Meath and Clare and have seen Loughcrew and Holy Island. In time I will get these onto the site. I am trying to write things about Carrowmore in Sligo and get that online which will be a worthwhile and big upload. Glad to be back with you.

Friday, 15th April, 2011: Again...sorry for the lack of updates. I'm moving in little over a week and anyone who has moves knows the time involved in much to do and so little time. When I am settled in my new home I will be able to start with the updates again. Thanks for you patience. 

Tuesday, 5th April, 2011: Busy busy busy. I'm moving soon to that's taking up my time but I'm getting something new up each week and I hope to continue this over the next while and in May I will be able to increase that when I'm settling into my new home. This weekend though I am off to Meath to look at the ancient tombs at Loughcrew. This is the last major megalithic cemetery for me to visit then I will have been to the four sites and then I will be adding Meath to the site. I will be going to Knowth and Dowth in the summer as well and get them up with Newgrange which will be the first Meath site to be uploaded. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, 26th March, 2011:  Sorry for the lack up updating in the past few weeks. 2011 is turning into a very hectic year and I had hoped to to some updating this past week but I've been laid low with Salmonella poisoning so I haven't been up to much. Being ill also scuppered my plans to get out and about this weekend. So hopefully next weekend will be fruitful and I hope to make it to a few places in Kildare and Carlow. I feel that these counties need a bit of attention. I want to get stuck into Kilkenny soon and then I will turn my attention to Limerick for a bit during the summer. As for updates I will have new ones this week and hope to have a major update soon as I plan to upload Carrowmore in Co. Sligo which will involve updating pictures and information for 20 tombs. There are more than 20 there but that's all I have for now. 

Monday, 7th February, 2011: Last Saturday the weather was good and perfect for getting out and seeing a few places I've had on my list for a while in county Sligo. The first stop was Deerpark court tomb. Located in forestry land it is easily accessible (with a short walk) and all the pictures I had seen it was surrounded by trees but these have now been cleared and you can get a 360 degree view from the site including good views of Knocknarae which is roughly W of the site but not aligned. Next, we pressed onto the nearby cashel which also has a souterrain. This is a nice little site but is in a field adjacent to the forestry. We spent time carefully climbing over the wall only to find on the way back that there was access further down the wall. We couldn't get to the wedge tomb because of some horses who didn't like the look of us. After this we pressed onto Drumcliff and saw the great high cross and the remains of the round tower.The final stop for the day was Creevykeel court tomb. What an amazing place! It is worth spending some time here to get your head around the unusual layout of the site. The main tomb is standard enough but the extra passages at the rear really stumped me. However, with all manicured sites it has that garden ornament feel - but a very nice one at that. 

This weekend we travelled down to the very Southern tip of county Carlow to look at St. Mullins ecclesiastical site. Now while the weather was against us we saw all that the site had to offer and some other local sites. What an amazing place! The motte and bailey there was of particular interest because it is possible to get to the top. Most are overgrown. Since the site was very close to both Kilkenny and Wexford we wandered across the boarders and saw a few places in these counties. That might just be the thing I need to begin work on these counties. Next weekend I am back in Sligo to tackle the mighty Knocknarae in order to see Maeve's Cairn. This all depends on the weather of course.

Good news - I found my GPS!

News Archives:
-January, 2011.
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-Event Review: "First Shots," 20th March, 2016, Stradbally, Co. Laois. 


This map is still under construction. All new sites will appear on the map and I will load old sites onto it as fast as possible. It's still got a few teething problems so let me know if you have any trouble with it.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map


The maps I use, from which the OS co-ordinates are taken are the basic Ordinance Survey Ireland maps which are available online and in most bookshops. They are cheap enough and cost about €8 each. The cost mounts up, however, when you buy multiple maps. The area I cover which, at present, is just 6 counties and requires about 20 maps. However, there are no better maps as they include everything. Every track, road and building is marked as well as the majority of antiquities so these are essential for finding sites. Road maps are fine to use if you have a handheld GPS and have co-ordinates but with an OS map it is hard to get lost. Reading them is also easy and each map comes with instructions on how to work with the co-ordinates system (which is pretty simple). The 3rd edition of the OS maps are now being published and are the most current. The 2nd editions are still good though.
I have created a map on Google Maps which contains all the sites I have visited and can be accessed by clicking here.


All pictures on this site are taken with a Fujifilm FinePix S1000fd

With 10 megapixels and a 12x optical zoom this camera is great for what I'm doing.  It takes nice, clear pictures although the stabilizer isn't the best.  I have it on its maximum quality setting so all pictures are hi-resolution.  It's a great camera that is midway between a point and shoot and a professional camera which makes the quality good enough for the pictures and the physical size of the camera small enough to carry around across fields.


The Global Positioning System that I use is the Garmin eTrek:

I have set it up so that the GPS co-ordinates that it gives are the in the same format as the many other websites covering Irish sites.  these settings are as follows:

Position format - Irish grid.
Map Datum - Ireland 1965.
Units - Metric.
North Ref - Magnetic.

The GPS is never 100% accurate so I note the accuracy of each reading I take so you know what to factor in if you are having trouble finding a site.  However, this will only happen with barely visible sites like ruined barrows.  I need to thank Megalithomania here for providing this information.


The following books are extremely useful and are all used when writing articles for this website.  Without these books this website couldn't happen so thank you to all the authors. This is a growing list:

The Archaeological Inventory series published by Wordwell Books is a must have for sites not in the guide books. Published county by county they cover every site in their respective county. But be warned, they also cover sites that are no longer in existence so it is worthwhile to learn how to use the book properly or you could end up in a field looking for something that is no longer there!

O'Croinin, D, A New History of Ireland, 9 vols, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005. Although expensive these books are extremely detailed and can't possibly leave you wanting to know more. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 take you up to 1691 which should cover nearly all the site in the country.

McCarthey, G, The Forgotten Heritage of Kildare, Nonsuch Publishing, Dublin, 2006.

O'Kelly C and M.J, An Illustrated Guide to Lough Gur, Co. Limerick, Houston, Cork, 1978.


Fitzpatrick, E and O'Brien, C, The Medieval Churches of County Offaly, Duchas, 1998.

Herity, M, Rathcroghan and Carnfree: Celtic Royal Sites in Ireland, Na Clocha Breaca.