Stone Rows.


Previous Journals have referred to the artefact known as a Gallaun or Standing Stone.  We have many of these in our Parish and they are very familiar to us.  We are not certain about the meaning or use of a single Standing Stone but it is not difficult to guess why they were used by Bronze Age man.  Probably they had several uses including the usual ones we think of such as use as a place  marker, a burial place or a direction indicator or sign post.


In a a number of instances we find three or more standing stones apparently aligned in a straight row.  These are distinguished by Archaeologists as Stone Rows.  They are usually three in number, but have been found up to six.  They are usually oriented along a north-east/south-west axis.


It is much more difficult for us to visualise the use of Stone Rows, but we usually think in terms of a ritual or ceremonial use, and sometimes people can detect a solar or lunar orientation.


The matter is further complicated by the occasional finds of Pairs of stones, but these sometimes result from a Row of three losing one of it’s stones over the years.


We have about 85 of these artifacts in our area, including Pairs of Stones.  Of these 12 are within our Parish or close by.


They include sets in the townlands of Cloghboola Mór, Cloonshear Beg,  Coolavoher,  Derrynagree,  Dooneens,  Dromcarra North,  Monavaddra,  Reananerree,  Rossnakilla,  Turnaspidogy,  Bawnatemple and Gortafludig.  At least that is what it says in the “Archaeological Inventory of County Cork”.  You may find some of these incomplete or hard to find.


Thus for example the set in Turnaspidogy stood in the lands of the McCarthy farm and three were noted 100 years ago but apparently only one remains today.


Probably the most interesting set is in Reananerree near to the Ringfort and the Fulachta Fiadh.  There are still six stones in this set, aligned and increasing in height from north-east/ south-west. 


Peter O’Leary