The Celtic Cross Forest

News has started to spread about a large Celtic cross located in a forest outside the village of Killea in County Donegal and its capturing everyone’s attention.

Located on a hill near the stone fort Grianan of Aileach this huge Celtic cross is over 100 meters in length and 70 metres wide.
Celtic Cross ForestPhoto by Ken Finlay.

The Celtic Cross was first brought to my attention when a friend on Facebook captured it as he was flying into the City of Derry airport. As I know this area really well it caught me by surprise.

From what I found it’s actually a few years old and Siobhan O’Neill posted a photo on twitter dating back to 2014. Other people are saying its at least 10 years old.

So how did this large Celtic Cross form in the forest?

The trees were planted by a forester by the name of Liam Emmery. He used two different types of trees to make the design stand out. Not only is this amazing in design but it’s also a great tribute to Liam who sadly passed away a few years back.

This forest Celtic Cross will probably last for many years to come. If you are ever flying into Derry keep an eye out for it on the left hand side before you approach the city.

The Poisoned Glen of Dunlewey

No matter what the weather is like, the Poisoned Glen in Dunlewey is possibly one of my most favourite places in Donegal. I have been visiting this location since a child and still make regular visits to blow away the cobwebs.

The Poisoned Glen of Dunlewey
Located below Mount Errigal there are no roads into the Glen so it can only be accessed by hiking. You can at least get to the old Church by car which is surrounded by some stunning scenery.

I’ve previously posted about the Poisoned Glen and I’m sure I’ll be posting more in the future.

Unknown Standing Stone of Carndonagh

Located in a field outside Carndonagh is a Standing Stone that is visible from the main R240 road.

Standing Stone Cardonagh

For years I’ve travelled this road but it was only until recently that I spotted this Standing Stone as I whizzed past in the car going towards Carndonagh.

This Standing Stone sits at the back of a farmers field and unfortunately for me at the time it contained livestock so I didn’t bother jumping the fence for a closer look.

The unknown Standing Stone of Carndonagh

A close-up of the stone shows that its rectangular in shape and looks like it may have been carved, or at least had its edges cut. Its not the usual shape of most of the Standing Stones I’ve ever seen, the large boulders stood-up right and without sharp edges, like the ones at Beltany Stone Circle.

Possible Standing Stone with Ogham?

Edge marks on Standing Stone

An even closer look and you can see markings as if someone attempted to smooth the edge. Unfortunately I never got a view of the other side so I’m unsure if these markings appear anywhere else on the stone.

Without knowing more about this Standing Stone I wouldn’t dare suggest these markings are actually from the ogham alphabet but it does look very similar.

Its believed Standing Stones were inscribed with personal names or to mark land ownership using the ogham alphabet.

What I find interesting about this Standing Stone is that I cannot, for the life of me, find any reference to it. Its not marked on any maps that I’ve checked and its not mentioned in any of the prehistoric site lists that I’ve read.

I’m starting to believe this stone is actually from more recent times. Its not unusual for landowners to place a Standing Stone on their land and some even inscribe their name using ogham keeping an ancient Irish tradition alive.

How to find this unknown Standing Stone

The Standing Stone is not exactly in Carndonagh and Google Maps shows its approximately halfway from Glentogher to Carndonagh on the R240 from Quigley’s Point. Its located on the right hand side as you approach Carndonagh, the field is between a small farm road on the right and a large house on the left.

I’m sure this isn’t the Glentogher Standing Stone, so what is it?