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Eirinn: Day 5

Thursday 6th September 2007

Another beautiful start to the day. I decided that the weather was good enough to risk the long drive up towards Cashel, as there were a number of sites in the area that I wanted to visit.

Along the way, I made a brief detour to the church at Dawros just off the main road to Kenmare. In the churchyard, there can be found an unusual font that seems likely to be a Christianised ancient monument.

Dawros church font

The drive to Cashel was arduous. Worryingly, the sky started to cloud over, but luck was on my side and by the time I arrived, the clouds had receded and the sun had emerged once more. The Rock of Cashel looked glorious in the warm light.

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Other monastic buildings and medieval remains can be found throughout the town.

Cashel ruins

Below the rock, lie the ruins of Hore Abbey. It's close proximity to Cashel gives some idea of how important a religious region this once was.

Hore Abbey

Hore Abbey

The clouds were starting to roll in once more, but I decided to risk the drive to Grange Lios stone circle.

Along the way, Ireland offered up another of its surprises. A small sign pointed off down a minor road to the ruins of Athassel Abbey. In Britain, this would be a major heritage site, but in Ireland, these spectacular ruins merit barely a mention, hidden away from sight with barely room to park a car.

I half-heartedly took some photos in the cloudy, grey light, but then another stroke of luck... the sun broke through again just as I'd turned to leave. I raced back and made the most of the brief golden glow that bathed the ruins.

Athassel Abbey

Finally, with the day drawing to a close, I arrived at Grange Lios stone circle. The dying light afforded the opportunity for some creative flash photography.

Grange Lios stone circle

Grange Lios stone circle

Although the stone circle is the main attraction, this is a rich ancient landscape. Lough Gur wedge tomb is only a few minutes away from the circle, and really shouldn't be missed.

Lough Gur wedge tomb

Lough Gur wedge tomb
Green Man