Friday 31 October 2014

Glassamucky Brakes Stone Circle Co Dublin

              Above Image: The approach road. Park in the wide area in the background

                Above Image: The route from the road. The arrow points to the large rock
                                     mentioned in the post.

                    Above Image: The route from the large rock over the flat stone.The
                                         circle is on the left in the background

                                              Above Image: Facing South

                                            Above Image: Facing North

                                       PHOTOS BELOW FROM 2012 VISIT

                            Below 3 Images: Unusual cloud patterns that evening

Glassamucky Brakes. The name sounds odd. The “Brakes” in this case refers to an area covered with bracken to which this site decidedly fits the bill. 
Hiding away about 50m up from the rural back road below lies a megalithic stone circle most probably dating back to the Bronze Age. This being a glacial valley there is so much scree and rock lying about that it is difficult to see the circle until you have actually reached it. But unlike the other rocks strewn about this has a certain sign of placement about it. This may be the only visible stone circle or part thereof in the county of Dublin although there is mention of one or two in the Ballinascorney area according to South Dublin County libraries and possibly another buried beneath the ground at Glassamucky.  
Once you have navigated the roads and found the spot to park which is a wider area than the narrow road that you approached on, you will then need to start walking up the hill from this parking area and aim towards a large boulder at an approx. 45 degree angle. Upon reaching this rock keep to a direction parallel to the road below. You will find that a rudimentary track is evident and you will cross a flat stone on the way. A few metres beyond there is a cluster of rocks on your left, this is what remains of the circle. 
I’ve visited this site on two occasions, once on a September evening in 2012 when there was some high atmospheric winds creating some dramatic cloud patterns and the near setting sun was delivering some unusual light on the site. Disappointingly on that visit the furze and bracken was thick around the stones disguising a lot of it. On my recent visit the area around the stones was charred from an apparent brush fire. Whether this was deliberate or not it certainly afforded a better view of the circle.  
There are seven stones in all visible that form an arc. One of the stones leans forward as if pointing to Ballymorefinn Hill opposite although I don’t think there is any significance to this as the stone was more than likely originally vertical. The circle seems to sit on a sort of shelf and has a fine view of the Glenasmole valley below. This valley name translates to valley of the witches and is surrounded by hills and mountains topped by ancient cairns. It is indeed a very atmospheric spot here and the non- strenuous walk to circle really makes it a must see. Also in the general area above the higher road (R115) you can also visit the huge Glassamucky Bullaun stone (see earlier post here
All in all a very interesting visit but best done on a dry bright day for safety reasons. 
To find the circle take the R115 out of Rathfarnham towards Killakee and after approx. 3.5KM you will reach a sharp right bend with a viewpoint parking area on the right. Continue on around the bend and follow this road (Military Rd) for approx. 3KM.  Along the way you will pass a sharp right hand turn and then a memorial on your left. Approx.250m past the memorial is another sharp right hand turn. Turn down this road which bends sharply right after about 600m. Continue until you have passed a left hand turn and approx. 200m later you will find a wider section of the road where you can park. Directly in the centre right of the area is rough track leading up the hill. Follow the directions as outlined in the post above.


  1. Hello again castlehunter. Thanks again for this blog and giving your readings the actual PATH to take when visiting this spot! How cool is that? Very cool. I plan to print off several of your blog posts when I am back in Ireland summer 2015 (I'll be a 55 year old student at NUI Galway) and on the weekends plan to see YOUR sites. Take care!

    1. A pleasure as always to hear from you Donna and glad you liked the post. Best wishes for your time at NUI Galway next year. I spent some time in Galway this summer hunting down a few very interesting places.

  2. have been here several times a very special place