Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Fairy Castle Co Dublin


                      Above Image: The Cairn with the Ordnance Survey Trig Post



                                          Above Image: Nearing the summit

                                      Above Image: The rocky trail upwards


                               Above 2 Images: The craggy Tors on Three Rock



An unusual entry this one, but fits somewhat into our brief as an ancient ruin of a Bronze age Passage Tomb.
The Fairy Castle as it is known sits upon the summit of Two Rock Mountain at a height of approx 536m and is visible from many parts of the south county of Dublin.The passage tomb below the surface is one of many Neolithic or Bronze age Tombs (circa 2500BC-2000BC)  scattered throughout this area, but this is one of the highest of those..
The tomb is marked by the large collection of rocks forming a form of pyramid. The tomb underneath had a height of about 3 metres and some of the original circle of stones are thought to still be in position but have disappeared under the peat and vegetation. The entrance to the tomb once described as "The Cave" has also disappeared under the peat bog. Adjacent to the Cairn is a Trig post for ordnance Survey.
We decided to visit this particular Cairn as it was so prominent and so on a fine summers evening we took the hike upwards to see our ancient ruin.
There is a car park at the Ticknock side of the mountain and a wide pathway winds up towards Three Rock Mountain. It takes about 30 minutes to ascend and you are greeted by the large TV masts. On three Rock you can climb over the large Tors which give the mountain it's name and here is a resting spot at a kind of crossroads.To ascend to Two Rock summit you take the right hand trail at this crossroads and another 30 minute hike will bring you to the top. The pathways become trails and are increasingly rocky and uneven but some good hiking boots and plenty of water should see you there nicely.
I cannot express enough how amazing the views from the Cairn are and of the great peacefulness here. It is well worth the climb. Although deemed a moderate walk I would suggest that a small level of fitness would go a long way. This amazing man made construction is almost a piece of art marking a more ancient form of construction and though precariously placed it is actually possible to climb up onto the top of the Cairn.
To find the Fairy Castle take the Grange road from Rathfarnham and follow it until you pass the Marley Park entrance. Turn right and continue until you reach the junction with the R113 Harolds Grange Road. At this Crossroads Continue across towards the large white Thatched Taylors Hotel . This is Kellystown Road. Follow this road upwards until you reach a T-junction. Turn right onto Ticknock Road and about 100 yards up on you left you will find the entrance to the forest trail. Drive up the road until you reach the highest car park at the forest entrance. Direction boards will guide you on foot from there. When visiting wear suitable clothing and boots. Take water, and a mobile phone and check the weather forecast as it can change quite quickly in the mountains. Above all, enjoy!

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