Piper's Stones

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The Pipers Stones
Clocha an Phíobaire
Piper's Stones at Athgreany, Co. Wicklow.jpg
Piper's Stones is located in Ireland
Piper's Stones
Shown within Ireland
Location County Wicklow, Province of Leinster
Coordinates 53°04′19″N 6°36′46″W / 53.0719°N 6.6128°W / 53.0719; -6.6128
Type Stone circle
Width 23 m
History
Founded 1400–500 BC
Periods late Bronze age
Cultures Pre-Celtic
Site notes
Ownership Public
Public access Yes
Reference no. 416[1]

The Piper's Stones or the Athgreany stone circle is a bronze age stone circle at Athgreany, County Wicklow. It sits on a low hillock overlooking the N81, 2 km south of Hollywood.[2]

Description

The stone circle sits on the end of a low ridge, enclosed at a distance by high ground on all sides. It is thought that someone attempted to remove the circle unsuccessfully, disturbing the stones placement in the process. Now the site is composed of 16 granite boulders, with 5 remaining in their original placements.[2] In the Ordnance Survey of 1941 reported 29 stones originally.[3] The stones range in height from 1.3m to 1.92m.[4] There has been no archaeological investigation of the site, so the construction date is only estimated to be from the late Bronze age,[2] approximately 1400-500 BCE. The circle is roughly 23m in diameter. An outlying larger stone, 2m in height, stands outside the circle to the north east. Some of the stones show signs of degraded carved megalithic art, consisting of grooves and cup-marks.[3]

History

The stone's name, The Piper's Stones, is believed to have derived from a local folk tale that said those caught dancing there on a Sunday would turn to stone, with the stones representing such revellers.[3] An outlying stone on the north east represents the piper.[2] There is an old hawthorn tree growing around the stone's circumference, this tree is associated with fairies and other folklore.[5]

There are 4 other circles that have been given the same name, another in County Wicklow, 2 in County Kildare, and one more in County Kerry. These others also have a similar folk tale associated with them, and has been seen as a way of classifying such circles.[3]

Access

The site is sign-posted, and there is parking on a hard-shoulder. The circle is accessed over a locked gate or over a wooden style. From the style the circle is 200m up a low hill.[2]

References

  1. ^ "National Monuments of County Wicklow in State Care" (PDF). National Monument Service. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Pipers Stones at Athgreany, Hollywood, Co. Wicklow". Cultural Heritage Ireland. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Athgreany Piper’s Stones". Voices from the Dawn. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Grogan, Eoin; Kilfeather, Annaba (1997). Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow. Dublin: Archaeological Survey of Ireland, Government Stationery Office. p. 30. ISBN 07076-4943-9. 
  5. ^ "Athgreany Stone Circle". Megalithic Ireland. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 

Coordinates: 53°04′19″N 6°36′46″W / 53.0719°N 6.6128°W / 53.0719; -6.6128

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