Nymphsfield Stone Circles

Nymphsfield Stone Circles

The Cong area of Co. Mayo has been associated with the arrival of Túatha De Dannan also the first battle of Moytura.  Within the area are a wealth of monumental structures with two massive cairns & several remains of five or six more also four stone circles, standing stones, caves, several forts with Cashels.  West of Cross village is an unopened cairn at Ballymacgibbon & Ecohy’s Cairn also Daithi’s Cairn. (the latter is the equivalent size of Maeve’s Cairn in Co. Sligo)  Nymphsfield Stone Circles are located on the former estate grounds known as Glebe or Nymphsfield about 1.5 north of the entrance to Ashford Castle. (William Wilde)  The first circle has several beech trees beside it.  Twenty-three stones remain of hoary weathered limestone.  Circle is about fourteen metres in diameter with  a small mound or cairn of stones within the east side.  The smaller northern circle is largely intact but covered with bushes & scrub.  Several interesting pocked stones inside the ring of the rectangular limestone slabs at a metre tall may be viewed at the site.  [i]

Glebe Stone Circles standing stones & National Monument are located about a mile east – northeast of Cong in County Mayo  circles were first noted by Edward Lhuyd on his tour of Ireland during 1699.  William Stukeley later reproduced Lhuyd’s unpublished drawings.  William Wilde connected them to the mythical Battle of Moytura.  Four circles in a variety of styles include the following: Nymphsfield 1 (west) the smallest circle approximately ten metres in diameter.  Twenty-three stones are approximately sixteen  metres in diameter with several up to 1.2 metres in height with cup &  ring marks.  Tonaleeaun (east) is an embanked recumbent stone circle with an orthostat at the west end.  Nymphsfield 2 (south) includes nineteen stones ten metres in diameter.  Coordinates are 533255N, 91549W: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glebe_Stone_Circles

During the nineteenth century William Wilde: Oscar’s father became intrigued with the stone circles, cairns also standing stones north – east of Lough Corrib.  He moved to the area & named his house ‘Moytura House‘ in reference to the epic battle in Irish mythology i.e. ‘First Battle of  Magh Tuireadh‘ or Moytura  ‘Plain of Pillars.’  (17th July 2015): http://picturingireland.blogspot.com/2015/07/magical-places-nymphsfield-stone.html


[i] Nymphsfield Stone Circles (http://www.carrowkeel.com/sites/cong/cong1.html) [Assessed 2nd June 2020]


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