Winter Solstice Moonrise at Brownshill Dolmen, Carlow

This post has nothing to do with uplands. In fact it couldn’t be further from the uplands being set just outside Carlow town. You can see Mount Leinster, the Castlecomer Plateau and the Wicklow Mountains on a clear day from here so that will do as the upland link.

There was a monstrous moon rising over Carlow last night (21st December). It was almost orange in colour and I’ve never seen it the size it was except in films where a wolf is silhouetted against it. Since Brownshill is only out the road from us I thought it might me nice to get some photos of the portal tomb with the large moon so my father and myself headed out to the site.

It was a completely clear night with only wisps of low cloud. It was so clear even the lights from the town made little difference on the night sky. By the time we reached the Dolmen the moon had completely shrank to what it would normally look like. But it wasn’t a wasted journey at all, the moon was rising directly in line with the eastern entrance stone. The mica in the granite capstone and portal stones was sparkling and we had the site completely to ourselves. I’m not sure if anyone else has witnessed this in recent decades or can we make the same claim as O’Kelly at Newgrange in 1967 and be the first to witness it since prehistory 😉

It’s not just the sun that can create a bit of magic this time of year!!!

Brownsehill Dolmen. Entrance stone is the large rectangular stone in middle

Brownsehill Dolmen. Entrance stone is the large rectangular stone in middle

Brownsehill Dolmen with the moon rising to East

Brownsehill Dolmen with the moon rising to East

Brownsehill Dolmen with moon rising to east

Brownsehill Dolmen with moon rising to east

Moon rising from inside the chamber

Moon rising from inside the chamber

Moon rise from inside the chamber

Moon rise from inside the chamber

Moon rise from inside the chamber

Moon rise from inside the chamber

My father Kevin at the Dolmen

My father Kevin at the Dolmen

I’m off to Knockroe Passage Tomb in Kilkenny this afternoon to watch the sunset alignment which worked yesterday. This will be the third year in a row going down after two cloudy years so third time lucky!!!

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