Friday, 5 August 2016

This land

So we had an enjoyable day yesterday out and about searching for Megalithic Tombs and Cairns.  It turns out that North Antrim has its fair share and more of these things, some dating back to 3000BC, which is a fair few years ago by my reckoning.

We didn't get to see Craigs Dolman, since it lies some way off the roadside and my days of jumping over gates and hiking up hills are over, but we did get to see the smaller passage tomb nearby, just outside Ballymoney along a wee country road.  Took us a while, though, as it wasn't signposted, but eventually we spotted it, about 20 yards from the roadside in a field.  It's not that big, perhaps 4 or 5 feet high and around a 12 foot circumference.  The Brother and his daughter hopped over the style to take a closer look but I thought I'd better not chance it, since the style looked pretty slippy and I'd be bound to fall or catch myself on the barbed wire or something stupid.  The stones hide a burial chamber underground.

What was most apparent, apart from the structure itself, was the setting.  It's set fairly well up the hillside, with a commanding view of the countryside, West to the Sperrin Mountains and North towards the coast.  No better view to spend the rest of your days, I should think and the fact that the Dolman was sited there would seem to indicate that the folk that placed it there must have had similar thoughts, all those years ago.  Nice.

The shots that I did take are still inside the rangefinder, so will have to wait a while before they emerge into the light, but in the meantime I give you one from another old place and one closer to home - Mount Sandel.  A place I've done before a few times on here but it's always a good area to visit for a stretch of legs and my favourite tree is there:

Mountsandel, Coleraine
Mountsandel is the siting of an Iron-Age Fort and is the oldest known settlement of man in the whole of Ireland, dating to around 7,600 BC.  It's just beside the River Bann, in Coleraine and in those days the area would have been covered in forest.  I'd imagine there would have been rich pickings from the  animals that lived in the woods and the salmon would have been plentiful.  Records show that even as late as the 17th Century 62 tons of salmon were netted at the nearby Cutts in one day.  No wonder there aren't many left nowadays...


  1. Such a beautiful tree and great snap, Michael. It's always nice to return to old and familiar subjects and scenes just to snap them over and over again. You will always find it kind of different anyway.