Where a fort falls away

An abrupt emptiness

Here is the east side of the inner enclosure wall of Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) where it ends at a cliff edge over the Atlantic ocean.

Visible are the last 60 feet or so of the limestone strata supporting the inner ring.

When first constructed, the inner ring was complete, the western side 1,000 feet from the cliff.. Today’s form of a semi-circle was created by nature when the force of Atlantic Ocean waves eroded the cliff, undercutting the strata.

Look close to see a fracture where the next block of limestone will fall into the waves.

Wishing a blessed All Saints Day (November 1st) for all my readers.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Reference: wikipedia Dún Aonghasa, Sea Campion

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Inner Ring, entrance

a storm threatens

In my last posts, “Inner Ring, at last” and “Inner Ring, look down,” we passed over the entrance to the inner enclosure.

A long path through fields, karst landscapes and outer walls leads to this entrance to the inner ring of Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) of Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland. The image composition is as a dramatic landscape with the surrounding walls and the cloudscape of an approaching storm.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Reference: wikipedia Dún Aonghasa

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Inner Ring, look down

A time of wildflowers

My previous post, “Inner Ring, ssss”, lowered the horizon. Here, we study the base of the inner wall.

A detail of the interior wall of Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) in springtime. White flowers of Sea Campion (Scientific Name: Silene uniflora) (Irish Name: Coireán mara) set against the ancient dry stone wall. Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.

We found Sea Campion throughout the west Ireland coast.

Wishing a blessed All Saints Day (November 1st) for all my readers.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Reference: wikipedia Dún Aonghasa, Sea Campion

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Inner Ring, at last

Site of earliest construction, 1,100 BC

A view to the northwest from within Dun Aonghasa in springtime. The interior a karst formation (see my post, ” Galway Bay View from Dún Aonghasa”), the grikes (see my post, “Grykes and Clints”) filled with grass and a sprinkling of white and yellow flowers, a cloudscape rising over the walls. Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.

Wishing a blessed All Saints Day (November 1st) for all my readers.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Reference: wikipedia Dún Aonghasa

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Shape of the land

Connections, near and far

From the commanding location of Dun Aonghasa, looking northeast across Inishmore island, we can understand why the ancient builders chose this location.

We also see the transition from exposed limestone to the fields built literally from the ground up (see my post “The How of Soil”).  For a closer view of island houses see my posts “Settled In” and “Cottage Road Cottage.”

The field walls are described in my posts, “What is a rock, what is a stone?” and “Stone on Stone.”

Click the photograph for a larger view.  Enjoy!!

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Grykes and Clints

where the wildflowers grow

The exposed limestone of the Aran Islands here transitions to a fertile field of grass, husbanded by generations of islanders. Photograph was taken from the path on Inishmore leading up to Dun Aonghasa. 

The Aran Islands are an extension of The Burren of Ireland’s Counties Claire and Galway.  The word burren is from the Irish Boireann, meaning “great rock.”  The glaciers that covered Ireland, retreating about 10,000 years ago, scraped down to the bedrock, exposing wide areas of limestone and dropping, here and there, large rocks.  When people came along the foreign nature of the large rocks was recognized, all the more obvious for lying on the horizontally bedded, exposed limestone.  We call the foreign rocks erratics.  The underlying scoured rock is a pavement for a resemblance to a cobbled roadway.

The incised line, filled with grass and wildflowers, in the following photograph is called a gryke.  The body of stone between the grykes are clints.  Sometimes, the grykes are cross hatched and the clints resemble cobblestones or flat paving stones. 

The view is northeast toward the 12 Bens of Connemara. Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “The Burren” and Google “gryke”, “clint.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Modern Drystone, Dún Aonghasa

a season of wildflowers across a karsk landscape

Modern stonework borders the 1/2 mile path to the inner Dún Aonghasa walls, keeping tourists off delicate plants, maintaining the integrity of this ancient site. 

The view north, northwest over the walled path to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) looking across karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.ng lintel) in the surrounding wall, to left of center in middle distance.

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Galway Bay View from Dún Aonghasa

a season of wildflowers across a karsk landscape

Another aspect of the gradual 1/2 mile inclined path to the central ring of the prehistoric Dun Aonghasa ruins of County Galway, Ireland.

The view north, northwest from this way to Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus).  In early June, looking across wildflowers, karst landscape, walled fields, farms, the North Atlantic Ocean, coast of Connemara and the 12 Bens (12 Pins) mountains. 

Note the doorway (with long lintel) in the surrounding wall, to left of center in middle distance.

Click the photograph for a larger view.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Yikes

…this defensive structure evokes the enormous scale of the struggles around this place of defense. 

A span of 10,000 years spreads between now and the first possibility of settlement on the island of Eire, then swept clean to bare rock by the weight of ice.  Current scholarship of the Dún Aonghasa ruins place a settlement within the inner of the four dry stone rings after 6,500 years (1,500 BC or 3,500 years ago).  By way of scale, the first settlement took 30 times the duration of the U.S. Constitution ratification through 2019 and 16 times from 1,500 BC until 2019 ( 6,500 / 219 = ~30 ; 3,500 / 219 = ~16.  The last state, Rhode Island, ratified the Constitution 1789).

By 700 BC, 2,700 years ago, a series of upright, closely placed stones, were erected between the second and third rings called a cheval de fries field (“Frisian horses” in English) today, this defensive structure evokes the enormous scale of the struggles around this place of defense.  

This is a portion of that field, I believe, taken as Pam and I approach the inner ring entrance, walking a wide path cleared of barriers.  Click the photograph for a larger image with caption.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

References: search wikipedia for “Dún Aonghasa” and Google “cheval de fries definition” and “Dún Aonghasa.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Arrival

Touchdown at the Iron Age fort.

A plus of our carriage rental was the round-trip fare.  Upon arrival, our driver waited for us with no time restrictions.  

At the foot of the hill-top ruin was a pleasant gravel paved courtyard with low slung, metal roofed venues.  The cafe serving local fare and shops of local handcrafts.  

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch, shopped for presents, and began our approach to Dun Aonghus, a half mile of gentle incline on a well maintained foot path.

This is the plaque on the fort entrance.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved