Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

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.


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


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.


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.
Tags: world: northern ireland
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