Easter egg hunt at Urney Fort / Chasse aux œufs de Pâques à Urney Fort

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An ancient ring fort, the sweet fragrance of spring flowers in the air, four acorns and some chocolate – Easter egg hunts don’t get much more magical than that.

At the end of a lovely walk in the sunshine with their auntie Paula’s dogs, the acorns went looking for Easter eggs among the bluebells at Urney Fort, Co Tyrone, in Northern Ireland.


Un fort circulaire médiéval, le doux parfum de jacinthes dans l’air, quatre graines de chêne et du chocolat – ce fut une chasse aux œufs de Pâques des plus féériques. 

Au terme d’une belle balade ensoleillées avec leur tante Paula et ses deux chiens, les graines de chêne sont partis à la chasse aux œufs parmi les jacinthes des bois de Urney, Co Tyrone, en Irlande du Nord.

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Nana & Grandad met up with us near Urney Fort for the Easter egg hunt /
Nana et Grandad nous ont rejoints près de Urney Fort pour la chasse aux œufs de Pâques.

Tucked away under beautiful mature trees and beside a large field of barley, Urney Fort slowly appeared as we jumped over the damp remains of its moat and climbed over its earthen bank – a superbly preserved medieval ring fort, carpeted with bluebells in the dappled sunlight.


Blotti sous la canopée d’arbres centenaires, à côté d’un champ d’orge, Urney Fort apparut lentement après avoir traversé le sol humide des anciennes douves et escaladé le talus d’enceinte en terre : un fort circulaire superbement conservé, tapissé de jacinthes des bois sous la lumière tamisée du soleil.

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The acorns immediately scattered about, on the hunt for the chocolate eggs the Easter bunny had planted for them. I tried to keep up and take it all in – their happy voices, the birdsong, and the breath of the breeze through the canopy.


Les graines de chêne se dispersèrent immédiatement à la recherche des œufs en chocolat que le lapin de Pâques avaie laissés pour eux. Je m’efforçais de les suivre et de savourer le moment : leurs voix joyeuses, le chant des oiseaux dans les branches, et le souffle de la brise dans la canopée.

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By chance, Mermaid came across a geocache (GCXV8X). Incidentally, the cache description on Geocaching.com provided the most information on Urney Fort I could find online.

Ring forts are areas of land enclosed by an earthen bank. These forts were occupied until the 12th century. The fort was built by digging a ditch and then using the excavated earth and stone to build a inner circular bank as defence against wild animals and invaders. The bank around Urney Fort has a diameter of 54 metres. A timber fence was also built on top of the bank for added protection. In the area inside the circular bank several houses would have been built with timber frames and thatched roofs. The fort would have been occupied by local farmers and their families and animals.

The fort would have been unoccupied from the 12th century but as it was considered unlucky for farmers to interfere with them (fairies were believed to live there) they were often left undisturbed. Urney Fort has been left undisturbed for the last 800 years and we hope that you enjoy this geocache in this ancient secluded woodland.


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Par hasard, Sirène dénicha une géocache (GCXV8X). Or c’est dans la description de cette géocache, sur Geocaching.com, que j’ai trouvé le plus de renseignements sur l’histoire de Urney Fort.

Les forts circulaires sont des terrains fermés par un talus en terre. Ces forts furent occupés jusqu’au XIIe siècle. Le fort a été bâti en creusant d’abord un fossé, puis en utilisant le remblai ainsi dégagé et des pierres pour construire une enceinte circulaire, pour se défendre contre les animaux sauvages et les envahisseurs. L’enceinte de Urney Fort présente un diamètre de 54 mètres. Une palissade en bois se dressait sur le talus de terre pour offrir une protection supplémentaire. L’enceinte du fort contenait plusieurs maisons à ossature bois et au toit de chaume. Le fort était habité par des paysans et leurs familles, et leurs animaux domestiques.

Le fort est inoccupé depuis le XIIe siècle. Parce que les paysans croyaient que d’y toucher portait malheur (des fées y habitaient), les forts furent souvent laissés tels quels. Urney Fort est resté intact depuis quelque 800 ans et nous espérons que vous apprécierez cette géocache dans un bois chargé d’histoire. 

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In nearly two decades of visiting this part of Ireland, I had never seen Urney Fort, a place Brian used to come to play as a child. His sister Paula mentioned an overgrown tunnel, used by smugglers in days gone by, its exact location long forgotten.


En presque vingt ans de visites dans ce coin d’Irlande, je n’avais jamais vu Urney Fort, un endroit où Brian venait jouer étant enfant. Sa sœur Paula mentionna l’existence d’un tunnel, aujourd’hui disparu sous les fourrés, naguère utilisé pour la contrebande. 

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Once the Easter egg hunt was over, Brian led us down further into the woodland, to a clearing with a towering beech tree that he used to try and scale with his childhood friends. The acorns immediately scrambled up the huge broken branch of a nearby tree, much more accessible.


Une fois la chasse aux œufs terminée, Brian nous emmena plus loin dans le bois, jusqu’à une clairière dominée par un énorme hêtre qu’il aimait escalader avec ses amis d’enfance. Les graines de chêne ont immédiatement crapahuté sur la gigantesque branche cassée d’un arbre voisin, beaucoup plus accessible.

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At the huge beech tree of Brian’s childhood memory /
Au pied de l’énorme hêtre où Brian venait jouer dans son enfance.

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Walking back to Urney Fort through the barley field, we then retraced our steps to Paula’s house. When the acorns went on an Easter egg hunt on a Connemara beach two years ago, the bar was set pretty high. But Urney Fort might well have topped it!


Nous sommes ensuite remontés à Urney Fort par le champ d’orge, avant de retourner chez Paula par le même chemin qu’à l’aller.

Quand les graines de chêne sont allés à la chasse aux œufs de Pâques sur une plage du Connemara il y a deux ans, la barre avait été placée haut. Mais il se pourrait bien que Urney Fort l’ait surpassée !

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Wood sorrel tasting at Urney Fort /
Cueillette d’oseille des bois à Urney Fort.

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Country Kids linky
 

7 Responses to “Easter egg hunt at Urney Fort / Chasse aux œufs de Pâques à Urney Fort

  • It looks like you had a fantastic time. Those trees look amazing for climbing! #CountryKids

  • What a perfect place for an Easter Egg hunt. Looks like they had to search hard to find their eggs but found plenty of other natural distractions along the way too. #CountryKids

  • What a magical place for an Easter Egg hunt, those bluebells are stunning #countrykids

  • Urney Fort looks like a magical place for an Easter egg hunt and what a beautiful day for it. Those bluebells are just beautiful. Your little acorns look like they had a lot of fun hunting for eggs and how lovely to stumble across a geocache in the process. I love how geocache descriptions often help give more information about places. How lovely that this was somewhere Brian knew as a child and to be able to revisit those memories with your children. Thank you for sharing with #CountryKids

  • What a magical, magical place. That’s the stuff that childhood memories are made of. Your acorns are very lucky. Thanks for sharing this wonderful family day out with us at #CountryKids

  • Gareth foley
    3 months ago

    Yes I played with Brian and the boys from Clady it was a magical place and still is I have taken my kids there over the years to play and tell stories and funny enough my home looks down on the fort great place to visit

    • How funny that you used to play there with Brian! Urney Fort is a magical place and you’re lucky to live so close to it. Thanks for stopping by.
      Annette

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