LETTERDEEN STANDING STONE
The Letterdeen Standing Stone is an ancient monument located at Streamstown Bay, north of Clifden, along the stunning Sky Road drive. The stone is a granite pillar that stands 1.6 metres tall and overlooks the tidal estuary. It is one of the many standing stones that dot the Irish landscape, but its exact origin and purpose are unknown.
Standing stones are usually associated with the Bronze Age (c. 2500-500 BC) or the Iron Age (c. 500 BC – 400 AD), but some may date back to the Neolithic (c. 4000-2500 BC). They may have served as markers of territory, burial sites, ceremonial places, or astronomical observatories. Some standing stones are part of larger complexes, such as stone circles or alignments, while others are solitary or in pairs.
The Letterdeen Standing Stone is a solitary stone that does not seem to have any other stones nearby. However, some researchers have speculated that it may have been part of a pair or a small alignment that sank into the marshy soil over time. There is no evidence on site to support this theory, but it is possible that there are more stones hidden under the ground or water.
The stone is made of granite, which is a common rock type in Connemara. Granite is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools and solidifies deep underground. It is composed of minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica, and can have various colours and textures. The granite of Connemara is mostly pink or grey, and often has veins or patches of different colours. The Letterdeen Standing Stone is grey with some pinkish hues.
The stone is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by the mountains and sea of Connemara. Streamstown Bay is a tidal estuary that fills and empties with the tide, creating a dynamic landscape of mudflats, salt marshes, and islands. The bay is rich in wildlife, such as birds, fish, seals, and otters. The stone offers a panoramic view of the bay and the nearby islands of Inishturk and Turbot.
The stone is easy to access by car or bike, as it is right next to the road. There is a small parking area nearby, where you can leave your vehicle and walk to the stone. However, you should be careful when approaching the stone, as the ground is very wet and muddy due to the tidal influence. You should also respect the private property signs and fences that surround the stone.
The Letterdeen Standing Stone is a hidden gem in Connemara that is testament to the ancient history and culture of Ireland, as well as a natural beauty that enhances the landscape.
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