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Friday, 20 June 2008

The Breffni Burren

On a recent trip to Ireland i took quite a lot of photographs which i'll upload in the form of two or three blogs.
This the first of those blogs concerns the Breffni or Cavan Burren.

Covering a much smaller area than it's more famous cousin in County Clare,the Burren is located in West Cavan between the villages of Gowlan and Blacklion.

The following is a description i've copied from Blacklions own website.

The Burren area is situated south west of Blacklion village. It's a remarkable area of limestone upland (now predominantly covered in commercial forestry) with a dense concentration of archaeological remains, mainly Neolithic and Bronze Age and Early Medieval in date possible from 4000 BC to 1500 BC. A variety of megalithic tombs, court, portal and wedge are complemented by ancient hut sites and a network of relict field walls.

Local folklore tells of a contest between giants to jump backwards over a Cleft. This resulted in the death of one of them, who is supposedly buried in the 'Giants Grave' (wedge tomb). Another portal tomb nearby known as " The Calf House" has a massive earthfast capstone. It gets its name from being converted into an animal shelter at the end of the nineteenth century.

There are lots of megalithic tombs in the area along with cairns, hut sites and pre-bog walls which all suggest considerable settlement here in prehistory.

The remarkable thing about the Burren is that examples of all four types of tombs are found here.

Local archaeologists are regularly adding to the recorded sites in the area, which number well over one hundred so far. Some of the sites are signposted within the forest.

The Burren complex which is now regarded to be of international importance stands on the Cavan Way, a 25 km way - marked walking trail stretching from Blacklion to Dowra and it is a must see for all visitors to the area.

"A quite place where few mortals trend but a neolithic nirvana to the memory of the dead.A timelessness and immortality is felt within my bones,As i sence the earthfast eloquence of silent standing stones".Seamus O hUltachain".

In many of the pictures i've inserted the signs belonging to that particular point of interest.Clicking on the picture should size it large enough to read.

It really is like going back in time here.

The BBC's Britains Lost World programme on St Kilda shows signs of ancient civilisations,perhaps the same people were here.

Apparently the burning of Peat/Turf has been polluting the atmosphere with dioxins for centuries.

I'm expecting to see a cave man at any moment.

I wonder how heavy these boulders are.

This 'Dolman' has signs of recent use.

It would certainly give shelter in a storm.

Much of this site has yet to be uncovered.

I'm only here because my climb up Cuilcagh Mountain's had to be delayed because of mist.

What a brilliant alternative.

I haven't managed to see the Lost Valley(Ancient river sink) or the Promontory Fort.
They're to be enjoyed next time i visit.

Burren (Boireann) means Great Rock,Rocky District or Stony Place,and back at the entrance it shows in these landscapes.
I find it hard to believe that i've been coming to West Cavan since the sixties and this was my first here.It wont be my last.

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