Barnmeen Standing Stone, Down, Ireland

This colossal behemoth of a stone stands hidden behind a hedgerow in the townland of Barnmeen. The area around the Mournes has a density of standing stones and cairns, many very difficult to access, this one however is a dream. The stone itself is around 3.4 metres in height and 1.5 in width, widening at the top. It has a very unusual ‘shoulder’ feature which is quite common to others tones in the area such as Tamnaharry and the portal tomb at Wateresk. The shoulder is assumed to be artificially cut into the granite, and when one approaches it, it cannot be seen, however a side on view shows just how prominent a feature it is, its meaning, if any, lost. The stone is known locally as the Longstone hence the name of the road it is situated beside carries the name Longstone Hill. An excavation of six test trenches was undertaken about 20 metres from the stone but nothing of archaeological significance was discovered.

I do like getting to see the national monuments of Northern Ireland but it is a constant bugbear to me that they are so poorly signposted and access seems to have been deemed unimportant. I know a lot of work has been undertaken by local authorities in the north in relation to tourism, its just feels like a lot more could be done and bring some money into these sadly under developed areas near the border.

GPS: 54.232661, -6.203027


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