MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
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GRANGE LOIS STONE CIRCLE
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GRANGE LOIS STONE CIRCLE,COUNTY LIMERICK.
CO-ORDINATES
52 30' 53.03"N...8 32' 26.36"W
Situated in grassland on top of low rise of ground 350m W of Lough Gur and
surrounded by a cluster of prehistoric monuments. Two stone circles (LI032-005-
/006----) in adjoining field to N, a trackway running NW-SE known as Cladh na Leac
(LI032-010001-) 210m to E, site of standing stone known as Cloch á Bhíle (LI032-
007----) 60m to SSE, site of Giant's Grave (LI032-010003-) possibly a megalithic
structure 245m to SSE, site of a possible megalithic tomb/portal tomb (LI032-004002-)
immediately to WSW, a trapezoidal setting of stones (LI032-002----) annotated as a
'Stone Avenue' which may be remains of a court tomb (Cleary 2015, 51) standing
beside an embanked stone circle (LI032-003---) 120m to WNW.
Embanked stone circle consisting of a slightly raised near perfect circular-shaped area
(int. diam. 45.7m) defined by 113 contiguous orthostats (max. H 4m) serving as
internal facing for a wide flat-topped earth and stone bank (Wth 9m; H 1-2m) with
cobbled entrance gap (Wth 1m) at E flanked by tall orthostats ( H 2-2.2m).
The entrance to the circle is marked by the tallest stones and these are mirrored on the
opposite side, creating an alignment on the midsummer moon (June 24) (Halpin and
Newman 2006, 415). Facing the two entrance stone at WSW are two tall orthostats
with tops sloping down to each forming a V-shaped notch. It has been suggested that
the stones were aligned upon the early November sunset, the festival of Samhain (8
November) (Windle 1912, 287; Burl 1995, 238). The heaviest of the stones, a very large
cube known as 'Rannach Croim Duibh' meaning 'the prominent black stone', weighing
over twenty tons, was set at the NE towards the midsummer sunrise (ibid.).
The stone circle was restored around the 1870's and new stones appear to have been
erected over the decades, creating the 113 that are visible today (Cleary 2015, 52). In
1827 the stone circle was described as follows - measuring one 'hundred and thirty feet
[39.6m] across. Only forty-three stones of various dimensions remain forming a perfect
circle; some of them are very small, while one in the north-east part of the circle is
seven feet and a half [2.3m] high by five [1.5m] in breadth ; nearly opposite to it stands
another very little smaller. Many of the intermediate stones have been removed, and a
part of the north side of the circumference has been much disturbed by a ditch lately
made close to it. The whole of this southern circle is surrounded by a mound about
fifteen feet [4.5m] broad and about four feet [1.2m] high, which skirts along the
outside edge of the stones, enclosing the area within them as a pit of three or four feet
[0.9-1.2m] deep' (Beaufort 1828, 139). Windle (1912, 288–91) recorded the existence of
113 orthostats forming the inner ring and also recorded that the entrance passage was
discovered by ‘some men digging for treasure’ (1912, 287).