Two Rock Mountain is another of the more popular hikes in the Dublin Mountains. Like the other hills, it is absolutely full of archaeology, history and folklore. Ballyedmonduff Wedge Tomb, perhaps one of the finest of its type in Ireland, lies on the south-eastern slopes of the hill (we’ll feature that in more detail in a dedicated post). The summit of Two Rock itself is crowned with a large cairn that is believed to cover a Neolithic passage tomb. The cairn is known locally with the evocative name of Fairy Castle. The sub-circular, flat-topped cairn measures some 27 metres in diameter and 3 metres high. It has never been excavated but is the easternmost of the complex of passage tombs that are found on the summits of the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. An important aspect of these mountain-top passage tombs is that they are inter-visible with each other. From Two Rock Mountain, the passage tombs to the west on Montpelier Hill, Tallaght Hill, Saggart Hill and Seahan Mountain can also be seen.
The name ‘Two Rock Mountain’ is likely to derive from the large granite rock outcrops, known as tors, on the slopes of Two Rock Mountain. They are created by erosion and weathering of the rock. The old name of the site has not been confirmed, but archaeologist Christiaan Corlett believes it may have been Sliab Lecga, or Lecca Cenn Sléibe, meaning the ‘the Mountain of the Flagstones’. This may be the same Sliab Lecga that features prominently in the Togail Bruidne Dá Derga (the Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel), as the last stage of the reavers’ journey before they attacked Da Derga’s Hostel. It may also feature in the old set of poems in the early medieval The Metrical Dindshenchas.
Mount Lecga, the next spot
prepared against ruses and pillage,
is the fifth bright “knot of testing,
(The Metrical Dindshenchas)
The story of Fairy Castle and Two Rock Mountain continues after the gallery.