I think Ireland has more rocks than any other place in the world.
With so many rocks they have come up with inventive ways to use them, and this includes a long history of stacking them into dwellings.
A dwelling for the dead at Carrowkeel, a Megalithic Bronze Age tomb site, famous for its ‘passage’ tombs. These tombs are more piled than stacked, and date from around 3500 -2900 BC. Nearby Carrowkeel is Carrowmore, another Megalithic site, with some tricky balancing stone stacking done by these ancient peoples.Just outside of Port Magee we stopped at ‘Kerry’s Most Spectacular Cliffs’ which had reproductions of the old stone buildings called ‘Beehive Huts’ or Clochans, dating from 2000 BC.Due to an ingenious method of stacking, these stone huts were waterproof, and were used for habitation up until the Early Middle Ages.In the middle ages the Irish castles were built out of rocks, surrounded by more rocks in the form of fences. (The Aran Island of Inisheer has the most rocks in all of Ireland.)
Dunluce Castle ruins in Northern Ireland, UK was built of the hexagonal stones quarried from the nearby Giant’s Causeway.This is a Famine House, where the 19th-century farm workers lived in extreme cold, damp and poverty. The exterior of the rich landowner’s house.An interesting example of a more ‘recent’ stone structure was just down the hill, the Stonehouse Restaurant. Actually, I’m only guessing as to age as, if cared for, many of these stone structures have stood the test of time. In Sneem we went to an amazing stone sculpture garden, with structures that in many ways resembled the traditional beehive houses.
I suspect that the Irish will never run out of stones or inventive ways in which to use them!
Years ago, we paid a homeowner an Irish punt each to go and look inside the beehive structures on her property. It was pretty neat.
The structures were so cleverly built – and just what Ireland needs, waterproof structures!
Wow, no wonder I loved stacked rocks in any form so much…maybe part of my genetic code or cellular memory!! 😉
(Last name is Kelly!)
I think a love of rocks might be genetic – I visited cousin in Denmark last year that I hadn’t seen in over 50 years and found out we both love collecting rocks and have piles of them in our homes. For you it might be worth visiting some Kellys in Ireland!
Beautiful. I’ve seen Dunluce. Built too close to the edge, as I recall.
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