The Pipers Stones at Athgreany, Hollywood, Co. Wicklow

On a low hillock overlooking the N81 Blessington to Tullow and 2km south of Hollywood is a Bronze Age Stone Circle called "The Pipers Stones".

View of "The Pipers Stones", Prehistoric Stone Circle at Athgreany, Co. Wicklow. looking east.

The site, which is a National Monument, is sign-posted and parking is on the hard-shoulder of the road. Access is across a wooden style over barbed-wire or over a locked gate, so only the sure-footed should visit the site with appropriate footwear. Over the style the Stone Circle is 200m up to the top of the low hill. Keep right after the Monuments Service information display and ascend the hill.

The name "The Pipers Stones" derives from the folklore tradition that people caught dancing on a Sunday were turned to stone. The outlying stone at north-east represented the piper. At some time in the past someone tried, unsuccessfully, to remove the circle and in the process displaced most of the stones.

The circle is sited on the end of a low ridge which is enclosed by high ground all around at a distance, giving the circle the feeling of being enclosed. The monument survives as a circle of 16 granite boulders, of which only five are still in their original positions, that defines an area 23m in diameter. There may originally have been 29 stones. The entrance to the circle is probably marked by a pair of stones at the north-east which face an outlying boulder 40m to the north-east called the Piper. The site has not been archaeologically investigated so its construction date is unknown but similar examples excavated elsewhere in Ireland have tended to date to the later part of the Bronze Age.

View Athgreany, Co. Wicklow in a larger map

GPS coordinates 53.072165,-6.612053

Further reading

Eoin Grogan and Annabah Kilfeather 1997. Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow. Dublin, 30-31.

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