Known as the Hag’s Chair in some contexts, K29 or the Mass Rock, in others, set as a Cairn T, Loughcrew kerbstone thousands of years ago the carved symbols on front, rear and seat are very worn. There is no surviving record to inform us of the stone’s purpose. The upper side appears carved to enhance the form as chair. Set to the north of Cairn T, not in front of the entrance as with Newgrange, even this is a mystery. It is the third largest curbstone.
The popular name refers to the hill itself, “The Hill of the Witch” (In Irish, Sliabh na Caillí). In lore sites such as this are associated with The Others (“fairies”), living lives parallel to ours.
Tradition holds that, during times of the Penal Laws, Catholics gathers on for Mass using this curbstone as the altar. By this it is known as the Mass Rock.
Cloigtheach is the Irish language name for a round stone tower. The word’s literal meaning is “Bell House.” This fine example of mica slate and granite is found in the Glendalough valley of County Wicklow, Ireland.
The sun was past noon when we arrived at this glacial valley of the Wicklow mountains. In the few hours available I shot the tower from numerous angles and chose this because the tower is placed in the larger natural environment, viewed as a singular object apart from the monastic city the tower is placed among.
Saint Kevin founded a monastic settlement within Glendalough valley almost 1,500 years ago, in the late 6th century A.D. As a religious center the monastery flourished for 600+ years, becoming a monastic city. Destroyed by English forces in 1398, it was disestablished at that time. Still, Glendalough served as a pilgrimage destination through the intervening centuries. The surviving buildings date from the 10th through 12th centuries.
Rebuilding and restoration efforts began 1876, including the roof of this tower using original stones. At 30.48 meters (100 feet) tall the Cloigtheach of Glendalough is the landmark by which the site is known.