The Stone Circle.

19 Sep

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On the way home from Terra Nova on Saturday last, (see previous post), we simply had to stop at the stone circle at Grange. Stone circles are fairly common in Ireland and stand as a reminder of our Celtic heritage. Considering they were all built 4 or 5 thousand years ago it’s amazing they are still standing. A testament to the skill of the builders. A people many like to think of as primitive… I think not!

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This circle is the largest in Ireland…150 feet in diameter.  The largest stone is 13 feet high and estimated to weigh 40 tons. Some feat to move that into position. No heavy machinery in those days but of course people worked together to achieve community goals.

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The entrance to the circle is on the east side and locals say the rising sun on the Summer Solstice reaches the exact centre of the circle. Others say it is aligned to the rising sun at Lunasagh.

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There are over a hundred stones in all and the outside of the circle is surrounded by a wide bank of earth.

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There are 2 other stone circles and a standing stone nearby but we were happy to spend some time absorbing the vibe here before heading off on the 3 and a half hour drive back home to Roscommon.

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33 Responses to “The Stone Circle.”

  1. John Willmott September 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    memories of lovely picnics around there 🙂

    • bridget September 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      The beautiful garden we visited was just a few kilometres from here.

  2. Jane September 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I love stone circles (sadly none here in Canada).I find them energizing ,and can feel the link to those who went before…perhaps that is their REAL purpose?
    Jane x

    • bridget September 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      I too find them energizing but we can only guess at their real purpose. My own belief is that they were places of sacred ceremony and ritual.

  3. cindyricksgers September 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Oh, thank you for sharing these images, Bridget! Primitive, indeed! Much more in tune with the earth and the sky than most of us now in this “advanced” time!

    • bridget September 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Indeed Cindy. How many buildings going up today will exist in 5,000 years…not many is my guess.

  4. limewindow September 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    Thanks Bridget for this delightful reminder to pay this circle a visit soon! Particularly like your picture of the entrance! Such special places these are.

    • bridget September 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Special indeed! I want to go back there for more explorations.

  5. Kevin September 19, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    Amazing! It brings back memories of my trip to the Outer Hebrides, where there is also a stone circle. Just magical!

  6. Anne Wilson September 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    This is defiantly on our list of ‘To Visit Soon’ It looks totally amazing, all these places have an energy, I wonder if it’s on a ley line? Most of these sites seem to be which would explain the energy.

    • John Willmott September 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Since I was 6 years old until a few years ago, meaning well over 50 years, I was totally absorbed by places like this. As young men my father and his brothers plus their sister were equally fascinated. Then one by one, after quite profound experiences, they saw these structures differently, and advised I may do too one day. That day did come, a vision of their manipulations and their links to ancient farming of the time.

      I will not go into detail, but the basic realisation is that all of these circles, cairns and megalithic are built by human hands from rocks chipped away from the earth. Meanwhile, the trees, water springs and other life giving things on earth are a process of unseen nature that bring in a variety of living things that are not controlled by human hand at all.

      I have since wondered if the ley line network is something humans have manipulated for their own attempted gain and there appears to be nothing in nature that is in such perfect straight lines. Nature seems to handle spirals much more comfortably.

      My father and uncles had passed on before I could discuss my own visions and discoveries so it will be a question for me to carry for life.

      Meanwhile, I still visit and awe these places, and will picnic by them. However, my value today is that if I saw a tree uprooting the stones there was a time when I would have attempted to take such a tree away. Today, I would let it uproot the stones as I would feel the tree has more right to the space, and the deeds of the stones are long done.

      • bridget September 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

        I think the trees and stones when they combine together look really good and the trees seem to cope ok with that. Some lovely fairly old trees at this circle…some outside and some amalgamated with the stones. Let the old and the new merge together I say. It’s all just beauty to me.

    • bridget September 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Definitely think they had the knowledge of the ley lines. Have a wonderful book about stones and stone circles in Great Britain etc by Julian Cope. It’s only a short drive from that lovely garden we visited. Will definitely be back here.

      • John Willmott September 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

        I now question if that knowledge is a tapping into to a line structure or if it was something humans created. From 68 to 72 I sometimes cycled around with John Michel, who lived in Bath at the time, and I used to be awed by what he had to say. Now I look find and feel that all he had to say was merely an art form.

        My favourite John Michel book is Megalithomania, which is about how megaliths have been expressed through art. Im not much of a boox person but its amazing how many of his books I’ve kept hold of.

        Of course art is our attempts to express unseen spirituality, as without that there is no art really. However, it does seem some artists desire to use their art as a form of control of the rest of nature, attempting to give it some order.

        I met Julian Cope at a gig in Sutherland Scotland in the 70s, when he was still with Teardrop Explodes before going solo. He came across as being obsessed as being recognised by others as a mystic way back then. I did get his book many years later, but soon gave it away.

        One thing that John Michell used to speak of is the ley lines being like the blood circulation and like the meridians of the body that acupuncturists work with. These meridians are not straight lines though, close yes, but they curve.

        My biggest problem with the Leys philosophy these days is the concept of perfect straight lines between points. I can only associate this with human behaviour or with an extra terrestrial behaviour we have somehow absorbed, that’s not natural for this earth. The human passion for order, dreams of straight lines, dreams of lists, dreams of perfect circles. Such passion seems to create a lot of hurt when such perfection attempted creations are disturbed. Think how quick a lawn edge is no longer a straight lawn edge after it has been cut 🙂

      • bridget September 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

        It all a matter of opinion really is’nt it… like spirituality itself…so different for each person yet what each one believes is the highest form for that individual. I don’t know enough about ley lines to have an informed opinion. I like the idea of special places on our Planet being somehow connected by a special energy linking one to another. But who really can say…isn’t it all just speculation by individuals. I’ve heard it said that some people can dowse the lines and that all the old churches were built on such lines to capture the energy there. Certainly not an energy I like in the churches, give me the stones and the trees any day. Maybe the ley lines were’nt straight at all just people connecting them in such a way as to appear like that. Any two towns in Ireland could be joined on a map by a straight line but the real path there would have many twists and turns.

  7. gardendaze September 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    SO beautiful and such a testament to our ancestors. Thank you for sharing.

    Karla

    • John Willmott September 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      The trees at that Grange circle are indeed spectacular and warming. Without them I think it would be a very barren place. There does to seem to be an inner human spirit that yearns for sacred circles, places to feel at home within. I suppose its why we live in houses and not rely on just the shelter of trees.

      As long as I live in a stone house and try to manage the trees from getting it its foundations I am perhaps being a little hypocritical here. Its all an excuse for me to banter my stone circle question.

      Through all that, I have so far forgotten to say what a beautiful post this is Bridget, so I express that now xxx

  8. TamrahJo September 20, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting! I love getting to travel virtually through the generosity of my fellow bloggers! 🙂

    • bridget September 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      No problem…hope you enjoyed the trip!

  9. The Belmont Rooster September 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    AWESOME POST!

  10. Donna@Gardens Eye View September 22, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    I wish I had seen one in person when I visited Ireland…such wonderful history.

    • bridget September 22, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      You’ll have to come back…

    • John Willmott September 22, 2013 at 9:26 am #

      most of the ‘organized’ tours avoid them, except maybe Drombeg Circle in Co. Cork and several people find the circle just outside Kenmare town, Kerry. Tomorrow I’m taking some people to 6 stone circles within a 6 km radius in Co. Wicklow. Even so, this Grange circle, I believe, is the grandest of them all. Beltany Tops in Co. Donegal, near Raphoe, is close, but not the beauty as here. Beaghmore in Co. Tyrone is awesome, I think its 11 stone circles all in one field.

  11. Pam's English Garden September 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I enjoyed visiting this beautiful place with you, Bridget! I have visited stone circles in England – Avebury stone circle comes to mind and Stonehenge, of course. Love your pictures, but especially the last one. P x

    • bridget September 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      I too have been to Avebury…absolutely loved it. I used to live in Bristol which isn’t too far from Avebury. Did you see the white Peacocks there?

  12. SmallHouseBigGarden September 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Fascinating glimpse into the wayyyyyyyyy distant past! love reading this type of post! All that history and such a pretty place must have made for a fun afternoon!

    • bridget September 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      The weather was perfect too which made the day so great. Great garden and living history…what could be better…

  13. KL September 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Have been away from the blog world for a while and back now, hopefully. Gotta a lot to catch up with your blog. Yes, stones have something to do with Celtic culture. I think even people were buried under stone, after death, right? I think those people were called primitive because of social structure. I am pretty sure after 100-200 years, our society will be called primitive with all these terrorism, death penalty, long jail time, crimes, and whatever not…and in those respects we are extremely primitive indeed.

    • bridget September 28, 2013 at 8:59 am #

      Having been blogging much myself…busy with house renovations….back to full swing soon.

  14. wellywoman September 26, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    A lovely post. There is something very magical about these sites. We’ve visited quite a lot in Britain and I find the connection with so far back in history incredible. I much prefer the smaller sites, the ones which don’t draw lots of tourists. I was strangely unimpressed by Stonehenge. The car park, busy road and coach loads of people rather spoilt it all. Of course, I was just another one of the tourists too contributing to the problem. There are some on the Isles of Scilly where you will see nobody.

    • bridget September 28, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      I much prefer Avebury to Stonehenge…nicer vibe there. So many stone circles here in Ireland…they were certainly important structures for our ancestors. So much effort to make them.

  15. Zann Cannon Goff November 24, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    I love the stone circles there! Well, never been to them but love the idea. Have a bit of Irish heritage, so was fascinated with all things Ireland as I grew up. A friend of mine visited there and fell in love with the cairns, and used to do University of California extension classes in Ireland. She wrote a book and did an exhibit here where she had a room set up with a circle of life-size photographs of the stones at Newgrange, with sculptures of the central cairn stones in the middle of the room. It was quite moving, and I ended up getting one of my early tattoos as a result – the triple spiral made from the single line. 🙂

    • bridget November 24, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      I love the stone circles too. They just have a captivating energy about them. Watched a TV programme last night about Avebury in England which I visited years ago when I lived near there. Don’t have any tattoos but if I did it would have to be the triple spiral. Love it!

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