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The Cavan Burren.

Portal Tomb.

The Burren in Co. Cavan, 4 kilometres from Blacklion, seems to be one of Ireland’s hidden archeological treasures. We had Andy’s sister visiting with us last week and decided to go to the Burren for a trip. Wow, what a find, it far exceeded my expectations. The area is owned by Coillte, the state owned forestry company.

The area was planted in the 1950s with conifers, which initially sounded horrific to me but on reading some of the research done here it seemed that the planting has helped preserve the area and kept it undisturbed. Many of the trees have been cut down and the area is not typical of the usual dark and barren conifer forests. The area is well signed and there are many marked pathways.

Boulder Tomb.

The area was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the early Bronze Age, from about 3000-1500 BC. The many tombs, cairns, hut sites and pre-bog walls suggest that the settlements were considerable. The variety of burial sites would point to the area being a sacred spot during this period.

Ancient Stone Wall.

The area is littered with huge boulders, remnants from the Ice Age. Many were adapted for use as burial markers. I found it mind blowing that the stone walls built thousands of years ago by our ancestors are still there, intact and undisturbed. It is quite an emotional place, one can almost imagine the activity that took place there. People surviving, making shelter, burying their dead, similar to ourselves really.

The site is quite elevated and the views are beautiful. One can see why this site was chosen as a settlement. It would have been good from a defences point of view as one could see all the surrounding countryside before the trees were planted. The climate at that time would have been much milder thus enabling habitation of such an exposed site. When the climate changed the uplands were abandoned and eventually covered by bog.

Horse shoe shaped, moss-covered stone.

We enjoyed our trip to this beautiful, mystical ancient place and will certainly return there. It’s places like this that make Ireland the special and unique island that it is.

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