Saturday, January 24, 2009

The north end of Lough Gur reaches up to a maintained lawn at the visitor area at the lake. The clump of trees jutting out into the water hide the site of a crannog.[1]

Lough Gur, Loch Gair in Irish, is a lake in County Limerick, Ireland near the town of Bruff. The lake forms a horseshoe shape at the base of Knockadoon Hill and some rugged elevated countryside. It is one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites. Man has been present in Lough Gur since about 3000 BC and there are numerous megalithic remains here.[1]

The largest stone circle in Ireland, at Grange is located near the lake. The remains of at least three crannogs are present, and remains of stone-age houses have been unearthed (the house outlines are known as "The Spectacles"). A number of ring forts are found in the area, with one (a hill fort) sitting atop the hill that overlooks the lake. Some are Irish national monuments.[1]

A visitors' centre is open beside Lough Gur, along with a car park and picnic area. The location is pleasant, particularly in the summer months. A gradual shore-line is present at the visitor area, with a shallow section of lake reaching up to the maintained lawn. As a result, the area is often used for water sports. Motorised craft are banned on the lake.[1]

There is a castle, or tower house — closed to visitors — near the entrance to the carpark. Named Bourchier's Castle after Sir George Bourchier, the son of the second Earl of Bath,[1] it lies at the neck of the peninsula around which the lake washes. There is some other architecture dating from more recent times, with the ruins of an early Christian church by the road leading down to the lake. At the far end of the lake are the ruins of a Norman castle, Black Castle,[1] which is reached by a hill-side walk along the east side of the lake and with a walled enclosure and a causeway leading up to the entrance gate: this is one of the keeps used during the Desmond Rebellions, and is probably the place where the Earl of Desmond secured his authority in 1573 after casting off his English apparel and donning Irish garments on his return to Munster from London.

Other archaeological sites are also found nearby, including the Grange stone circle, and a dolmen.[1]


[1] Illustrated Guide to Lough Gur, O'Kelly, M. J. and O'Kelly, C. 1981. Published by Houston, Cork.

FILM Irish Stone Circle Lough Gur Co.Limerick



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