After a very interesting last conference day on Friday we went on the post-conference tour to county Limerick. Our first stop was the Grange Stone Circle, the largest stone circle in Ireland and dates to about 2500 BC, it is a very different stone circle than you have on the British Isles:
Next stop was the partially drained Lough Gur, a horseshoe-shaped lake with loads of archaeology around it. No wonder it is such a pretty area, I would have settled there, too. Although some people probably would complain because of all the wetland insects.
This is a Crannog, an Iron Age artificial island, where the rich and beautiful of that time lived.
This is Bouchiers castle, a five storey tower built by the Anglo-Norman in the 14th century:
The spectacles, an unfortified Early Christian period settlement on the slope of Drumleagh Hill on the East shore of Lugh Gur. What you see is the actual roundhouse and in the background a drystone wall from the adjoining field systems.
We then went on to a Megalithic tomb, a so-called Wedge tomb of the Early Beaker Period (Early Bronze Age):
Our last stop was the old church of Hospital, an old Abbey church founded by the monastic order of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, dating from 1215. The ruined abbey church has effigies of knights on tombs, one said to be that of founder, Geoffrey de Marisco you can see here:
It was a long but very rewarding day and we finished it off with a wonderful dinner at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel: