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Ardboe, Beaghmore and Tullahogue

We took advantage of the decent weather yesterday to take a trip up to County Tyrone, to see three ancient mystical sites.

Ardboe

The first of these is the ruined abbey and High Cross at Ardboe, on the shores of Lough Neagh:



It was actually a strategic mistake to come here at noon; the cross is in an awkward place to photograph and it's rather difficult to capture properly.



I think if one came in the evening the light from the west would be kinder both to the cross and to Lough Neagh, which is never going to win a prize for most beautiful lake in these islands:



But the mingling of new and old monuments at the site is rather striking:



And the medieval abbey church has become a public space of commemoration:



I'll do another post on the carvings on the cross, but for now we move on to

Beaghmore

I had known about the Beaghmore circles for decades but had never been to find them. They are very peculiar indeed. There are seven stone circles altogether, most of them in pairs.



But one on its own is filled with smaller stones, known as the 'Dragon's Teeth':



Mysterious lines of stones radiate from between the circles:



And small cairns, apparently containing cremated human remains, mark the last resting places of some of the people who lived here three millennia ago.



Reception up there is not fantastic but I was able to tweet a picture of it, which two people recognised.

Tullahogue

Our last stop was Tullahogue, the ancient fort where the Kings of Ulster were inaugurated. Note the greengrocer's apostrophe in the official sign welcoming visitors:



There's not in fact a lot to see here; it's a well-kept green space, unused since Mountjoy's troops destroyed the ceremonial chair and burnt the vicinity in 1602:



I was able to add Tullahogue as a check-in on Foursquare; not terribly surprised that I was the first to do so!



And so we returned home in time for me to cook the dinner.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Gerry Lynch
Aug. 16th, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
East Tyrone
I've always felt East Tyrone had an understated beauty and deserved to be better recognised. The next time you're in that part of the world, I'd recommend driving up Slieve Gallion (you can park within an easy walk of the top because of the big comms tower up there). Really great views from the North Coast all the way down to Slieve Gallion.

If you want to drive further, you can drive from there all the way to Gortin on backroads through the heart of the Sperrins - a really gorgeous drive.
shereenb
Aug. 16th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
Beaghmore really is an impressive site. If it was anywhere else than Tyrone it would get many more visitors.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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