Bards in the Woods at the Cavan Burren.

26 May

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Yesterday our Bards in the Woods gathering was at the newly opened Cavan Burren park. We had been to the park previously but it is now much improved with new roads and pathways and an unmanned interpretive  centre. There’s even some very clean public loos…

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and a covered picnic area.

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Spirits were high as we set off. Usually the views from here are amazing but yesterday was a very mizzly (mix of mist and drizzle) day.  A lot of money has been spent here…almost a million…and it’s still free to the public. Great new path here to this previously inaccessible area.

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Soon we were at Tullygobban Hill Wedge Tomb.

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Soon the bards and singers were in fine voice. Poems and songs came thick and fast. First class entertainment. In between there was lots of chatting…about the history and folklore of the place and of course catching up with people we hadn’t seen in ages.

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Our next stop was at the Boulder Grave. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of cremated remains here. Ancient rock art on the front of this huge stone.

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Lots of other huge boulders here too. These are glacial erratics which would have been dropped by the receding ice as the Ice Age came to an end. There’s also a spring well nearby.

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Interesting rock art here too…

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plus some dodgy looking fertlers hanging about. Only kidding! That’s my husband Andy and Tony Cuckson who played guitar and sang as we all had our picnic later. Such a beautiful voice he has too. The dog is called Obe. He is deaf and is reputed to be able to see the fairy folk.

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At this point the group split in two. Some people went on the steep climb up to the Giant’s Grave while the rest of us went to the more accessible Calf House Dolmen.

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The name calf house is because this was used at one point to house small farm animals. Originally the large slab would have sat on top of uprights to resemble a table. This monument is also known as the Druid’s Altar.

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Here Jan entertained us with a wonderful story about a witch called Alys.

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People are said to have lived in this place continuously until the 1960s.

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Beautiful stone walls here. I wonder how long since these were constructed? Lovely Beech trees too.

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Another shot of Tony and Obe the fairy dog.

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Hart’s Tongue Fern.

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This sinkhole has only been discovered recently. It is well fenced off for safety.

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After a couple of hours we were feeling peckish so back to the picnic area where a great spread was laid. Everyone brings a contribution for the picnic table. We had salad, sandwiches, hummus, olives and a multitude of sweet offerings. I made an Orange and Almond cake which you can see in the pic. It was all devoured gratefully in the midst of chat and song. A fitting end to a lovely afternoon at this special place.

The Cavan Burren Park is part of the Marble Arch Global Geopark and is recognised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). It comprises 124 hectares on the slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain. Megalithic tombs, hut sites, rock art, stone walls and glacial erratics survive here from pre-historic times.







21 Responses to “Bards in the Woods at the Cavan Burren.”

  1. cindyricksgers May 27, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    I love this! I felt as if I were right there with you….thanks for your generosity with photos and detail, Bridget!

  2. cynthiamvoss May 27, 2014 at 12:57 am #

    Beautiful photos! Love the calf house and the one of the stone wall with beech trees.

  3. charlieeasterfield May 27, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    Great to see you and Andy there, Bridget! What’s a fertler???? Cx

    • bridget May 27, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Another word for faffing about. It’s one of Andy’s words so I’ll ask him…just to be sure. Great to see you too. That ticket is available if we decide to do Bloom. xx

  4. Lucy Corrander May 27, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    I miss mizzle – it’s the right kind of weather for trekking with friends through that kind of landscape. Hot and sunny may be nice in theory but it’s very tiring and no where near as cosy when you sit down with your flask and picnic.

    • bridget May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Hot and sunny weather makes we want to stay at home in the garden. Makes me lazy too. We’re just not used to it.

  5. Beth May 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    What a beautiful day and some fascinating tidbits, loved your photos too. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jane May 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    I love when you post about the Bard in the woods meets. I’ve looked here,but nothing.
    I don’t doubt that Obe can see fairies.
    Jane x

  7. limewindow May 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Wonderful blog piece, really ‘there’ & your cake looks gorgeous too.

    • bridget May 28, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      The cake did go down a treat. Will have to make that one again.

  8. miriam May 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this piece Bridget. Your photos are amazing… I feel like I want to visit the place myself… I love the colour and detail of them…. We’ve such a beautiful lush green country… Thanks for the update on the history of where you were too, it made it more special… I look forward to reading your blog 🙂

    • bridget May 28, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks Miriam. I love visiting these off the beaten track places myself and it’s double the joy to be able to share them.

  9. Mominthegarden May 27, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    What a fun group! How lovely for all to enjoy the surroundings, and each other (and food and music to boot!). Mizzle is a great word, I’ll have to remember that! 🙂

  10. KerryCan May 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    This sounds absolutely fabulous! What a day–the combination of the ancient tombs and stones, with story and song–wow! We’re going to be in Ireland this autumn–I need to learn more about visiting this spot!

    • bridget May 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      Highly recommend it. I hate how people who come to Ireland are guided to the same old venues that usually cost an arm and a leg to enter while beautiful spots like this are virtually ignored. Lots of wonderful things to see in Leitrim, Roscommon, Cavan and Sligo etc.

  11. wspines May 27, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely place. It looks magical.

  12. Eliza Waters May 28, 2014 at 2:01 am #

    Thanks for the tour! The history here is palpable and the mist adds to the mystery of time immemorial. Thoroughly enjoyed your post!

    • bridget May 28, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      It really is a precious spot where an awareness of our ancestors is heightened. Love it!

      • Eliza Waters May 30, 2014 at 12:42 am #

        I envy your sense of connection to the ancients. Lost when mine migrated to the New World, alas.

  13. The Earth Beneath My Feet June 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    What an interesting and magical place!

    • bridget June 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      It is beautiful there and the views are magnificent.

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