Dunhill Castle and my failed geocaching


I think that Ireland is at her prettiest in May-June when the Hawthorn hedgerows are in fool bloom. They say that a lone Hawthorn is a Fairy tree. People tie ribbons to them asking blessings from the Good Folk – Sidhe. There is such a tree in the outskirts of Clonmel. It is seen in the photographs that were taken in the beginning of the 20th century, but when I saw it just a couple of years ago, new ribbons were tied to its branches, which means that the fairies still reside there and answer prayers.

Anne Valley is no different from the other places, all frothed with the white lace of hawthorn flowers.

Looking up something in Google, I came across a Geocache page  where I learned that there is a cache at the dolmen near Dunhill village, and another one at the castle. I am not doing geocaching, but a couple of years ago our family came across a cache in the tree in Wasatch mountains. It was a fun surprise. I was going to take pictures of the dolmen anyway, because it stands close to Anne Valley,  so why not to do some treasure hunting. I took a bead bracelet with me and drove to Dunhill.

It is the Ballynageeragh dolmen, restored in 1940 ‘by P. Murray and sons’, as the inscription states. The massive capstone rests on a wall constructed from building blocks. The original stone is missing. The dolmen looks lonely in the middle of the field.


I went around the dolmen a few times, looking into the holes between the stones, but the promised tupperware box was nowhere to be found. I guess I am not a good treasure hunter after all.


My next destination was the Dunhill Castle.

This is a look down from the hill. I could see all the world from there. The weather was unusually warm and humid, with not a slightest breeze. Humming and buzzing of insects were the only sounds that disturbed that tranquil wilderness.

dunhill castle

This land was not always so peaceful. Unlike many others, Dunhill castle put up a resistance to Cromwell, and was destroyed by the artillery. In 1912, the east wall collapsed during a storm.

dunhill castle

Inside the castle.

dunhill castle

These steps lead to the first floor, but I didn’t climb them, unsure if I could make it there without railings, let alone get down.

dunhill castle

Look from inside the castle.

dunhill castle

Another look from inside the castle, this time at the Anne Valley.  Anne River was navigable in the times of the Dunhill Castle glory. You can see the ocean in the distance.

dunhill castle

Anne river is rushing to join the Ocean. You can read more about this stretch of the valley in Jane Tubridy blog post, because she walked there, and I just drove 🙂 .

anne river

And this is where we started our walk, just a mile away, Anne River all adorned with the Crowfeet weeds, with The Dunhill Castle silhouette in background.

anne river

I stop at the car park at the foot of the hill to have a closer look at the horses I saw from the castle window. Anne River is slightly deeper here, and runs silently, without cheerful gurgling. Knobby Club Rush is rustling in the wind, …

… delicate Ragged Robin gently trembles in the breeze.

Foxgloves look almost fluorescent under the dark canopy of the trees on the hill slope. I love their spotted trumpets and the strings of the sturdy buds.


In my next blog,  I will write about the place where Anne River meets the Ocean. Hope you enjoyed the trip, and here is a Field sparrow for you to make you smile. He looks surprised because he didn’t see me come.

Ah, about the other geocache – I just forgot to look for it! 🙂


Anne Valley Walk blog post started the series. One more post to follow. Hope you enjoyed this walk. 🙂

inese_mj_photographyHave a wonderful weekend!


  1. I’ve never really gotten my head around geocaching, but I guess it gives a purpose to a walk? 🙂 Nice looking dolmen anyway 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I am not in geocaching either, just came across an article when looking for some places to visit in Dunhill area. Didn’t find a cache anyway 🙂

  2. Beautifull Picture , it’s a good time to see and read this article 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Marje! Every time I see something amazing and beautiful, I think of my daughter, how I would love her to be there with me.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I see the donkeys every year, but cannot tell for sure if they are the same 🙂 They are adorable indeed 🙂

    1. I don’t know if I am 100% sad, because each side of the coin has its negatives, plenty of them. I understand people being fed up with the economy, but on the other hand, one particular leader is only waiting for the EU to fall, and with his imperial ambitions and insanity he might use the situation to strike. I am worrying about our safety more than for our economy.

      1. Yes – i think so to, about Safety – in the middle of all this, we are laying ourselves and Europe wide open. And not better in US.

        What is happening?

        Would it be ok to ask – what do you feel about a United Ireland.

        If i could i would vote for SNP . We were talking about this and thinking it thru – is there still a Scottish Royal Family? Maybe its time. I likr our Royal Family but everything else is changing

        Then wondered, if should try and apply for dual nationality.

        Close to us in Brighton – they would like to be declared as EU Citizens

        1. What I think of a United Ireland is that there is too much violence involved, and I don’t know if people are ready for such a change, and if the State is. What usually happens? People ask for changes and get furious when the changes don’t work as expected. Then each part starts blaming another. Been there.

          1. I wasnt sure if i should ask and hope i havent upset you, i really didnt mean too. I am not familiar with the real history of what happened but can understand there is a lot of pain and very difficult to forget. Hope at some point perhaps down the road, the pain will go.

            1. No, why 🙂 Nothing to be upset with. I am upset when people are killing each other TODAY. It means that they have never learned from their history.

              1. Its very sad, we have Poppy Day every year but it still goes on. Im not going to think about the EU stuff for a while but will vote differently at the next election

                1. I think the most important is to make an educated choice. I mean, not only an emotional choice, but the one based on some research, because it is about our future life. I hope everything goes well.

  3. Inese, I was just looking at pictures of Ireland, daydreaming of a revisit. Here your post features crisp, clean shots highlighting that great green. My favorite shot was the archway in Galway Castle looking out to the pastures below. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! I can imagine how many visitors looked out of that hole in the wall and took the same picture 🙂 I even suspect that many of them had got more favorable lighting conditions 🙂 What can we do if this is the only view from inside the castle? 🙂

  4. Inese – The luxurious walks and paths you take us on are such a joy. Everything feels so alive. At moments, I feel as though I can reach out and touch the blades of grass or step a toe into a body of water. The outdoors is such a beauty. I loved exploring the old castles when I lived abroad and you do a splendid job of taking me back to those memories yet keeping me in the present. Please know how much I appreciate and admire your work.

    1. Sheri, thank you so much for your kind comment! We are having a real summer this June, and I am happy to be outdoors every time I have a chance. Your garden looks so beautiful, I have seen the pictures. Hope you both are well.

  5. The Dunhill Castles so beautiful, dear Inese…. I truly liked the photographs… Also, I enjoyed learning about the Ballynageeragh dolmen, Google cache searches included….
    The tradition of tying up ribbons is such a magical belief… I loved that reference, my friend…. Thanks so much for sharing… Sending love and best wishes. Aquileana 😀

    1. Thank you so much for your visit dear Aquileana! We have our own mythology mingled with magic too 🙂 Always inspired with your wonderful blog! Wishing you a happy day! xx

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