Pictured here is a view of the lands around Loughcrew Cairns, North County Meath. The shot is taken from the top of Cairn T on Carnbane East. Visible in the center of the shot is one of the many stone circles that dot the land here.
This area is dotted with clusters of megalithic cairns around the Slieve na Caillaigh hills at Loughcrew. The centrepiece of this area is Carnbane east, and in this shot I am standing on top of Cairn T to take a shot of one of the circles of stones in the area.
While a lot less well known than Newgrange with its famous interior illumination at the solstice, Loughcrew is equally beautiful for its illumination at the equinoxes. The backstone of the chamber is lit up by a strong beam of sunlight on the equinox of spring and autumn. As the light enters the chamber of this passage tomb, it is shaped by the many stones along the entrance of the passage and as it moves towards the centre backstone, it lights up from left to right revealing the many ancient solar symbols carved here.
This site was first discovered to feature this amazing feat of solar engineering in 1980 when Irish American scholar Martin Brennan realized how the light illuminated the central chamner on the equinox. in total, there are 23 tombs in the complex here at Lough Crew and they date to approx 3500 BC, making them over 5500 years old.
One of the most obvious stones aside from those carved with these ancient symbols is at the rear of Cairn T, and is known as the witches chair. This alludes to the legend that these monuments were created by a giant witch who strode across the land here, and dropped these huge piles of stones from her apron. Legends also tell that she challenged a local queen here to a gamble, if she were able to jump across all of the hills in one leap, she would gain control of all of the lands visible from the top of the hill (and that is a lot of land, the view here is very extensive). In trying to make her leap, she fell and broke her neck when landing on her head at what we now know as Cairn T. The Irish name for this place is Sliabh na Caillí, which means the Mountain of the Hag.
The ancient tombs of Newgrange and the Bru na Boinne complex are not too far from here and have become in recent times one of the sites of Ireland that many many people feel they must see on visting the country. This has led to it becoming very commercial with access only by guided tour, and with visitors being rushed in and rushed out to fit as many groups as possible in one day. In comparison, here at Loughcrew there are very few visitors. It is a little more off the beaten path, but it is possible to visit this truly ancient place and be the only person there. On the day I visited, I met one other guy there from London who was amazed that a place so magical could be so empty on such a beautiful sunny day. I think though that this is one of the reasons I love this place so much, you can take as much time as you want to study the ancient art, to wonder at why these places were built, and to stop and take a break in the middle of a stone circle which has been there for so many thousands of years.
Please take a look at the workshop where you can see the entrance to the tomb (this is the tomb I was standing on top of to take the main post). If you look at the stone to the left, you can make out some of the stone carvings. Sadly, being out of season and very early in the morning, the entrance was locked so this was as close as I could get.
Thanks for looking.
Critiques | Translate
fds (7398) 2014-04-19 11:47
dear Noel great view over the ancien ireland point with fantastic pov and great green colors
i would visit ireland next years
great easter irisch friend
elenimavrandoni (14241) 2014-04-19 11:55
ancient is your land with all its legends and myths, with all its natural beauty and its very proud people!
A land worth discovering through history and through tradition, through music, lullabies and storybooks!
travelling with you to your beautiful country..
nikkitta (13556) 2014-04-19 13:07
Just saw the WS and read the note, funny, same happens in Peru with old stone indian constructions, also placed in circles
This is a very good interesting post, old stones at the front, impressive Irish landscape at the back
Very informative note
Happy Easter !!!
bukitgolfb301 (34612) 2014-04-19 14:44
Hi dear Noel, how are you?
Sorry for my long no contatct with you due to several reasons. Ya this is anothet unique stone regacy, so intersting and amazing one. Great panfocus and finest light and color touch as usual.
All the best and have agood weekend! TAKERO
carlo62 (28397) 2014-04-19 14:52
un luogo di grande interesse, se non sbaglio lo avevo visto in un documentario in un programma televisivo, ma in questo caso ti devo fare i miei complimenti per il paesaggio che è fantastico.
Il panorama è magnifico, tutto questo verde domina la scena rischiarato dal blu del cielo.
lousat (72855) 2014-04-19 15:26
Hi Noel,great capture from this historic irish place full of fashion and mistery,i like your choice of point of view,perfect to have a complete view,great details and colors as usual.Happy Easter and thanks,Luciano
jcpix (11670) 2014-04-19 20:30
I hate to do this, but with very limited free time at the moment, please pardon my ‘copy & paste’ note. I really wanted to respond to as many as possible before this next week really gets away from me. With no time for details unfortunately, I can still say this image is one that I find quite enjoyable. :) All the best to you and yours for a Happy Easter. Take care.
Hey, where are the skyscrapers in this shot?? :)
omid266 (3487) 2014-04-19 21:10
dear my friend ,
another excellent and spectaculat work from ancient Ireland , good depth with the town in far away makes this
image very admirable , with good green colours, nice POV, AND Sharpness ,
very very well done and Thanks for sharing this art work,
emka (73797) 2014-04-19 23:28
Hi Noel, How interesting are all these megalithic circles and one should go there in the time of solstice to see the sun rays lighting the important place. I can imagine that the people in that ancient time observed it in purpose of agricultural works. I saw similar place recently in Armenia. A bit larger and with no fence, one could roam freely and in fact there was no one except crazy traveller from TE:).
jjcordier (73728) 2014-04-19 23:46
Belle et intéressante photo de ce cairn irlandais. Bonne composition.
Royaldevon (26831) 2014-04-20 0:13
A fascinating note to accompany your photograph. It has made me realise what an accumulated knowledge of the sky and seasons must have existed in the memory of these ancient peoples. Did they live a long time, was their knowledge written down and accumulated or was the knowledge passed on verbally, to be built upon! Without books or the Internet, we wouldn't know when it was the longest day, etc.
A Fine view, using the cairn stones for f/g impact and, then, leading very naturally to the stone circle.
There is a wonderful sense of depth, whilst the greenery of Ireland is in no doubt.
Have a great day,
SnapRJW (29358) 2014-04-20 1:51
Ireland - A country of myth, legend and ancient history. Your lovely shot encapsulates so much of my impressions of your wonderful country Noel.
The sweeping, green landscape is super and with the added detail of the stone circle the ancient and modern continuum of its habitation are linked.
I wish you a wonderful Easter Day.... go easy on the eggs!
macondo (18551) 2014-04-20 3:19
A quite breathtaking panorama with great depth and seemingly natural colours. Wise inclusion of the lower stones of the cairn on which you were positioned. Good note and workshop photo. And, importantly, the large version fits on the screen!
snunney (79973) 2014-04-20 3:41
This is s splendid expansive view across this green landscape that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see. The circle of standing stones makes an interesting and unusual anchor point. Happy Easter to you.
jhm (135806) 2014-04-20 4:55
I wish you and your family a Happy Easter.
Thank you very much to your excellent and interesting notes.
Incredible that these old traditions remain.
You shows us a nice contrast picture with different colours.
An excellent composition, nice presentation.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice Easter Day,
marabu61 (7443) 2014-04-20 4:56
This scene is so typically irish, there is no mistake about its origins. The wide open green landscape is very appealing and the old ring of stones provide a vital and interesting focal point.
I quite agree on the nasty tourism on Newgrange and Bru na Boinne. It was a cold and windy day we stopped there on our way to visit friends in Drogheda. Not being aware that one could only visit in guided tours and having just missed one leaving, we didn't wanted to wait for an our in the visitors center and thus gave it a skip.
But there are so many ancient ruins, tombs, monoliths and dolmens one can visit and being there all alone ...
have a great day and happy easter
papagolf21 (83472) 2014-04-20 8:01
Bonjour, cher Noel,
La note d'accompagnement est un pur régal et vient donner encore plus de force à cette superbe image.
Le cadrage est fort bien pensé (il intègre ce fameux cercle avec une vue en arrière-plan jusqu'à l'horizon).
Un pur régal.
ikeharel (53049) 2014-04-20 8:27
Good evening Noel,
Fine view over the ancient sight, a perfe4ct circle built in old era.
The note is most interesting, evidence of life years back.
Superb taken from th top of the tumb, DOF as far as the horizon, grteen all over, but the main subject is the ancient compound which very well shown.
Romano46 (16580) 2014-04-20 11:43
in questa tua i colori e lo stesso paesaggio raccontano tutta la bellezza della nazione irlandese.
Alla straordinaria bellezza della composizione che fa perno su uno dei tanti cerchi magici che costellano questa terra si unisce una visione a perdita d'occhio del verde di questa terra che è uno dei vanti del suo territorio.
Luce brillante, perfezione nei colori e nitidezza incredibile.
Ciao, complimenti e auguri di buone feste
delpeoples (52731) 2014-04-21 2:15
What a great POV you got here. As much as I love stone circles, I find that it's very difficult to do them true justice in finding the right POV, and demonstrating their size and shape. Here, it looks like you are either 8 foot tall or standing on a hill. Whatever, you've really shown their shape and uniqueness beautifully. So you didn't break in? That's very law abiding of you! I ended up cutting my leg open climbing the wrought iron fence of Rathmullan Priory, and am still looking over my shoulder for the local Fuzz to come and arrest me. Love the colours, the contrasts and the impressive definition of these amazing stones. Your note is superb, as usual. Seriously, why don't you do a photo book? I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Well, thanks for sharing, looks a little chilly for goatskins and antlers...maybe lederhosen, I dunno?
Glad to hear you've returned safe n sound from Germeny, even if sans lederhosen. I look forward to your skyscraper shots.
Greetings from post-cyclone Far North Queensland
npecanhuk (61578) 2014-04-21 12:16
Truly interesting view, with special regards to the circle of stones, highlighted in the lower fg of this beautiful and attractive picture!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, horizontal format, dof, chosen pov and composition are all excellent!
TFS - congrats,
abmdsudi (40226) 2014-04-21 22:30
Superb catch like seating under the open sky, a shot which brings the mini stonehenge to life as they attract the eye for obvious reasons but at the same time providing a great record shot of this historic sight. The lovely vast fresh green landscape combination brightens up the atmosphere extremely well and the collaboration of blue works best here. A picture that tells a story nicely taken and presented in a superb manner. Good narratives too. Congrats
Cricri (101805) 2014-04-22 4:36
Une note intéressante sur cet endroit particulier, bonne profondeur, intéressante présentation de l'entrée de la tombe en WS
mesutilgim (80586) 2014-04-22 11:50
Hello dear Noel,
Nice capture with this interesting megalithic cairns enriched with many interesting notes.
TFS and best regards
ourania (27174) 2014-05-01 14:12
this place looks and sounds alluring, your pictures and note offer a very interesting and rewarding presentation. There's immense depth in this view and I like very much how your composition is grounded and how we are progressively led through the vast scenery. I also like the juxtaposition of the ancient site and the modern towns in the distance. The light, the colours and the atmosphere are superb. After reading the very interesting information in your note and looking at this place for a while the word "connection" sprang to my mind. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
adores (34736) 2014-05-27 15:55
I always find these stone circles very interesting. Maybe not so easy to reach the top to enjoy this view but the pov is very good to show the circle and also the landscape around it. Interesting place and a good shot!
- Copyright: Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) (21448)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-04-18
- Categories: Festivals, Ceremony, Architecture, Artwork, Ruins
- Camera: Canon EOS 60D
- Exposure: f/11, 1/125 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Celtic Standing Stones, Dolmens, Ruins [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-19 11:36