Category: hill

Slieve Croob and the surrounding countryside, Northern Ireland

Slieve Croob can be translated to ‘Mountain of the Hoof’ and though it is not very high (534 m), it is apparently over 380 Million years old, even older than the Mourne Mountains, which you can see looming on the other side. This whole area was once shaped by big ice sheets pushing down from Donegal during the Ice Age. On top of Slieve Croob you find the 12 Cairns, which are Neolithic burial chambers (possibly put together from one big one originally). Neolithic farming communities would settle in the fertile valleys below between 4000BC and 2000BC and they have erected many impressive stone structures all around the area. Slieve Croob was also traditionally the place where Lughnasa was celebrated, the festival dedicated to the Celtic sun god Lugh. It was celebrated in August to prolong the period of sunshine into the harvest months. People would pick bilberries (also known as ‘blaeberries’, giving it the name ‘Blaeberry Sunday’) on the way up and then sing, dance and play the fiddle. This was done on Slieve Croob well into the 1950s.

A Northern Ireland vlog is up on Youtube. 

Slieve Gullion, Northern Ireland

There is a Neolithic passage tomb on top of the hill. I could just about stand in it. It was an incredibly hazy day so the view was limited, but the walk was nonetheless enjoyable. I came away with a bag-full of litter from that walk, plastic bottles thrown into the heather because it was the convenient thing to do. If you see litter on a walk and you have the means to pick it up, please do. 

Revisiting places: Dundurn Hillfort and St Fillans burial ground. 

Revisiting places: Dundurn Hillfort and St Fillans burial ground. 

Dundee Law in Summer