ancient sites, Art, sacred sites, spirituality, TOLL, travel

Something profound?…

County Offally, Clonmacnoise, Monday, 25th July, 2022


‘The meadow of the sons of Nos’


‘Something dark

and swift

flitted between the grave stones.


Whether or not it was profound,

only time would tell…’


The site of a now ruined Christian Monastery

on the bank of the river Shannon, purportedly,

founded by St Kieran in the sixth century AD.



Clonmacnoise remained the preferred

burial site for Irish kings down to quite late times.



There is, though, plenty of evidence to suggest

that the site was originally some sort of druidic college

which was later converted to matters ecclesiastical.



Not least the presence of two round towers

or ‘cloictechs’, the largest of which looks far, far older

than the rest of the now roofless ‘chapels’.



There is also an elaborately carved stone which

may once have been a standing stone

and which has probably never been a cross of any sort!


A fine Cernunnos sits second panel up on the right!


Six centuries after its alleged inception

this monastery produced the first

Irish language manuscript, the Book of the Dark Grey Cow,

which in part relates the epic tale of, ‘The Ulster Spoil’!



But that, as they say,

is another story…



PC 963 Kraas saw the figure first and instinctively backed away from it, principally because it was there and unexpected but also because it was tall and hooded, and its face could not be seen.

Bark Jaw-Dark was busy watching the rain with a ‘we may be sheltering here for some time look’ still inhabiting his visage but finally realising something was up, he started to turn and as he did so the figure spoke.

“This is the way…”

“I beg your pard…” started Jaw-Dark.

“… Step inside,” finished the figure.

A scrawny arm with a hand clutching a flyer was presented to the pair, who looked at the flyer then at each other momentarily and then at the rain now hammering the pavement before returning their gaze to the figure and then… they both did as they had been told.

Although neither of them could know it, the arrangement of bars and lights above the doorway they had just entered was displaying an announcement; ‘Erin’s New Shorts’ it said, ‘Evening One – The Seely Court’.

“This is the way, step inside…” repeated the hooded figure, after Kraas and Jaw-Dark had disappeared into the cavernous maw of the building, and thrust a flyer filled claw out into the rain…

Lands of Exile Volume Two


Stuart France and Sue Vincent

Ben, fast becoming a folk hero after the apparent theft of a standing stone, now languishes in Bakewell Gaol. Don and Wen, suspected of being his accomplices, are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland, the officers of the Law have followed the trail of the erratic couple as they visited the ancient sites of Albion. This time, though, as Don and Wen take the slow boat to Ireland, Kraas and Jaw Dark are one step ahead.

But Ireland is a land of mystery and magic, where reality intertwines with vision and standing stones are still open doors…

How long can Don and Wen continue to evade the long arm of the Law?

Who are the men who wear the Templar emblem… and what are they doing in Derbyshire?

In the shadows, a labyrinth of secrecy shrouds a mysterious figure. What is Montgomery’s interest in a small standing stone?  Just how many high-level strings can he pull… and why?

And what is the dark, winged creature that is now on the loose?

Join Don and Wen as they continue their adventures in the sacred and magical landscapes of Albion and Erin…

Available in Paperback and for Kindle via Amazon

(Illustrated in full colour)

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