Monday, 8 May 2017
I told the Guru I wasn’t going to write much today…so, mostly photos. Wild strawberry.
Holsteins arriving at fence at end of new pasture area. Bawling. This is atop an early medieval place of major importance called Uisneach. The scale of the hilltop with scattered features was difficult to grasp even standing there. Just think of it as the cattle site.
Our access to the hilltop passed by this somewhat mysterious cattle management structure.
I laughed that someone thought it necessary to mark this one-and-a-half lane road with an aon scoitheadh sign—no passing.
I’m standing on another major architectural feature. Me and this momma sheep and her two babes, one black, one white. Think of it as the sheep site. The formal name is Rathcroghan.
I guess this one might be the person site? It’s called Rathra, and I think this is an old field boundary cutting through the early medieval ring fort. It has two pairs of wall-ditch combos to my left and right. Also you can see a barrow mound just visible over the walls to my left. Darned exciting.
We laughed at this sign. Crappy snapshot, however.
We stopped at the famous monastery ruin named Clonmacnoise. Here’s a view of the oldest structure here (foreground), called Temple Ciarán. It dates to the 8th/9th C, and is considered among the earliest mortared stone shrine chapels in Ireland. That’s the Shannon River in the background; there was a bridge across it as early as ~804. The Guru sent Drony on a mission here getting a great view of a nearby 1214 Anglo-Norman motte-and-bailey castle ruin on the riverbank.
We happened upon turves of peat drying. These are regular shapes from mechanized harvesting. Several (parts of) bog people have been found during such operations.
This abandoned factory is the town of Clara. We spotted another one, too. On the way into town, we drove by the ruins of a monastery. St Brigid founded the original wooden monastery, records indicate. Clara seems pretty resilient; keep on biking.