400 metres N of a
by-road, and 7.5 km E by S of Dingle, the highest stone of this
3-stone row (plus outlier with petroglyphs on it - on the far
right of the photo below ) is 3 metres.
Dingle Peninsula is littered with monuments, mostly
cross-pillars and standing-stones, and it would take at
least three days non-stop to visit everything worth seeing.
~ 500 metres SW of
the Ardamore alignment, in Aghacarrible (V 511 997) 20
metres S of a by-road, in a field entered by the leftmost of
two field gates, and on either side of the right-hand field-fence,
is a large boulder with cups and rings, gutters, and other typical
~ 700 metres SSW in
Doonmanagh (V 525 996), 150 metres W of a rough track
zig-zagging down towards the sea, is a wedge-tomb, lurking behind
a wall about 300 metres SW of a radio transmitter, but visible
from the road which passes the mast. "Poukauncorrin" (The
Fairies' Cave) is a small well-preserved tomb. At least
one sidestone has been removed from the NW side, together with
some of the cairn, to provide access and make the tomb a snug
shelter or habitation (cf Haroldstown in county Carlow).
The site affords superb views to the W and NW, and to the E
and SE towards Magillicuddy's Reeks.
~ About 400 metres
NE of Doonmanagh, to the N of the narrow winding road which
passes the transmitter in Graigue (Q 532 003) is a remarkable
tall standing-stone split vertically in two, one piece leaning
on what appears to be the remains of a second stone.
6 km W by S in Ballintaggart (V 464 997), about 300 metres
S of the Anascaul-Dingle road, is an ancient circular enclosure
on the top of a knoll, containing nine smooth, cigar-shaped
pulvinar stones from Minard - three of them christianised with
crosses. They have various ogam inscriptions, including one
reading TRIA MAQA MAILAGNI (The three
sons of Malagnos) with CURCITTI on the
back, and a cross with triple ends - which is the Icelandic
"End Strife" pictogram.
reads CUNUMACCQQI AVI CORBRI (Conmac,
grandson of Coirpre). Another reads NETTA LAMINACCA
KOI MAQQI MUCOI DOVIN[IA]S (The nephew of Laminacca,
the son of the people of Dovinia), and has a cross with expanded
terminals. Dovinia was the ancestral goddess of the Corcu Duibne
after whom comes the other name of the peninsula: Corcaguiny.
Another of the stones also mentions the goddess in its inscription
MAQQI IARI KOI MAQQI MUCCOI DOVVINIAS.
It has been suggested that the duplication of consonants was
a ploy by literate stonegravers working on piece-rate to cheat
their illiterate employers.
9.5 km W by N, 800 metres ESE of the village of Milltown
(Q 429 010), almost opposite the graveyard and to the W of the
road from Dingle to Ventry, on top of a low cairn is a boulder
almost 4 metres long, decorated with cups and circles and grooves.
Nearby are standing-stones, and another boulder with markings.
To the N are thetwo 'Gates of Glory' standing-stones
(one broken), and 40 metres W, close to the road in the garden
of Milestone House B & B is another standing-stone 2.4 metres
high known as Gallán na Cille Brice and 'The Milestone'.
photo by Jim Dempsey
~ 20 km W by N, in
another townland called Graigue (Q 316 029), close to
Clogher Head and visible to the NW of the R.559, is a handsome
standing-stone less than 2 metres tall, but from which is a
spectacular view NE towards Mount Brandon.
~ Slightly over 10
km W by S in Burnham, (V 421 998) in the grounds of
the Earl of Ventry's former residence of that name, now a college
(Coláiste Íde), are seven ogam stones of
which 5 are erect and two are recumbent and cigar-shaped as
at Ballintaggart. Nearby are a small cross-slab and small
bullaun. Most were brought here from Kilrannig (see under
~ Just under 2 km E by N in Lugnagappul (Q 542 003), marked Clocha Ogaim
on the map, in a field close to the road called "Pairc na Foladh":
the Field of Blood, is a line of three remarkable Ogam stones
which are small, smooth pulvinars, one of which is beautifully
egg-shaped and reads GOSSUCTTIAS. As is
frequently the case with Irish monuments, there are white quartzite
pebbles at the base of the stones.
~ 4.4 km WNW of Ardamore
in Ballineetig (Q 478 008) is "Gallaunmore"(An
Gallán Mór) a Standing-stone some 5 metres
~ 10.7 km WNW in Kilfountan
(marked Gallán on the map at Q 425 035) is a fine
conspicuous standing-stone, visible from the by-road to the
E, and from the Early Christian site (350 metres SW) with a
superb cross-decorated pillar which bears the name of the saint:
over 3.5 km NNW of Kilfountan is the well-signposted monastic
site of Kilmalkedar. A short way along the road to the
W of the churchyard, on the right, is a kissing-gate. In this
field a Fógra sign is visible atop a boulder some
2.5 metres square: a six-basin bullaun,
one of whose depressions is nearly 50 cms across, and another
one which is shallow and probably unfinished. The rod in the
photo below is a metre long.
This bullaun is known
as The Keeler's Stone, and is connected to the legend
of Glas Gaibhnenn (see below). Very close to the Keeler's
Stone another - single-bowl - bullaun, was found during road
construction in 1984. It is now set in an upright position next
to a wall on the west side of the road.
~ 5 km
SW of Kilmalkedar (Q 357 038) in Ballyferriter, to the
E of a by-road above Ballyferriter, is the 'Gate of the Cow'
(Geata an Ghlas Ghaibhnigh), a pair of standing-stones
some 4.2 metres apart. Cattle were presumably driven through
the gap (now filled by a wall) to ensure fertility. The folklore
associated with the magic cow, the pillarstones and The Keeler's
Stone can be read on the Voices
from the Dawn website. The museum in Ballyferriter's
old schoolhouse is well worth a visit.
km S of Kilmalkedar (Q 391 010) in Caherard, is a handsome
little wedge-tomb known as Leaba an Fhir Mhúimhnuigh
or 'The Munsterman's Bed', from which there are splendid views.
Dingle (or Corkaguiney) Peninsula is littered with Standing-stones
(marked Gallán [singular] and Galláin
[plural] on the map), as well as a rich variety of Early
Christian sites with cross-pillars, Ogam-stones, cross-slabs,
circular stone huts [Clocháns] etc. Almost all
are clearly marked on the map. Two more sites at the Western
end of the peninsula are Dunbeg and Kinard East,
listed separately below.
Behind a cottage just
S. of a caravan park is a fine standing-stone which has been
altered in recent times to produce an anthropomorphic figure
some 3 metres high. The cement-alterations are now starting
to flake away, making the stone a remarkable piece of anonymous
sculpture (modern 'folk-art') almost on a par with Celtic carved
Beg: Petroglyphic boulder
V 531 822
Behind a house to the
S of a by-road, 7 km NE of Cahirsiveen (marked Rock Art on
the map), in the second field (50 metres) from the road, to
the W of a hedge and bank is a boulder whose exposed E face
is 135 cm long and 81 cm high, decorated with Bronze Age motifs
such as ringed cupmarks with 'tails' or 'gutters' (looking a
little like frying-pans with fried eggs), un-ringed cupmark,
and a grid of grooves. It is unusual for petroglyphs to be carved
on the vertical face of a boulder.
~ 4 km
ENE, to the E of a by-road in Gortnagulla (V 567 836)
is a row of 3 stones, one of which has fallen.
11 km ENE are the many petroglyphic panels at Kealduff.
~ 25 km ESE are several
petroglyphic boulders at Derrynablaha.
~ Almost 10 km WSW
is Leacanabuaile stone fort and other forts nearby.
V 405 659
The picturesque "Labbydermot"
lies 200 metres S of a road-junction, 3.3 km NW of Ballinskelligs.
This well-preserved and picturesque tomb's main chamber is covered
by a capstone just under 3 metres long. There is an opening
in the narrow E end which may be original. The antechamber/portico
is unroofed and made with high slabs, the largest being 1.5
metres high. There are two closing-slabs with a deliberate gap
in the N side.
~ 300 metres WNW (V 402 661) is a standing-stone and boulder-burial.
E of Lough Brin, scattered over a wide area to the E and W of
the road through the beautiful Ballaghabeama Gap, and surrounding
the only inhabited house (in 1975) for miles, are over 20 decorated
rocks. They are very difficult to find on the boulder-strewn
hillside, but perhaps the easiest to locate are those for which
the grid reference above is given, found by following the S
branch of a stream from the bridge about 300 metres S of the
abovementioned farmhouse, then up the hillside for about 400
metres. A prominent table-like rock a short distanced S (left)
of the stream - and visible from the road - is decorated with
numerous cups and penannular rings and grooves. beside it is
a small rock whose vertical (W) face is decorated with the rare
motif of cups and rings surrounded by a ring of small cups and
a large indented ring, similar to those at Ormaig in the Kilmartin
Valley of Argyll.
on the picture for more
About 200 metres E
of these, about halfway between them and the second bridge (200
metres SE of the first one) is a low altar-like rock with a
curious design of cup-marks and irregular, roughly-circular
400 metres ENE is a
small but beautifully-sited standing-stone at V 766 775.
~ 9.7 km SE (6.4 km
WNW of Kenmare
at V 848 734))
just 20 metres W of a by-road, in a field just S of the (?former)
Downings' house at Poulacapple in Rossacoosane, is a
single boulder (not marked on the map) with a curious and interesting
pattern of grooves and cups & rings.
4.8 km ENE of Kenmare
and about 350 metres above the road which follows the Roughty
river on its S side, is a neat little 5-stone circle. 220 metres
SW is a low cairn some 7 metres in diameter with a single pillarstone
3 metres to the N of it. 400 metres NE of the cairn is a group
of three standing-stones not in line, the highest and midmost
bearing on its cracked and fissured surface an Ogam inscription
which has been interpreted as TAGNILOCID MAQI
Upper: Stone circle
V 790 608
2.4 km NE of Lauragh
Bridge and 350 metres E of a by-road from which it is visible,
this fine stone circle crowns a knoll and offers magnificent
views. It is unusual for the pillar-like stones used in its
construction. Nine stones out of a probable 11 now remain (one
of the missing stones being the 'axial' or 'recumbent'), enclosing
an area over 8 metres in diameter. A short distance to the E
is a rectangular grass-covered stone-built mound which may have
something to do with the circle.
~ Just over 200 metres
S in the same townland is a very neat little wedge-tomb (V 789
606) still partly-buried in its cairn, which has some fine quartz
pebbles on top. The door-slab has been pulled aside.
over 5 km SE, in Glanrastel in the midst of the Caha
Mountains (V 828 576), is a remarkable set of petroglyphs dating
from neolithic rather than Bronze Age times. They are
more extensive and better-preserved than those at Tinure,
county Louth, but very difficult to find.
~ 5.6 km SW, in Cashelkeelty
East (V 748 575) , 800 metres S of the Lauragh-Castletownberehaven
road and 3.2 km WSW of Lauragh Bridge, up a forest track and
past a beautiful waterfall, the remains of a 5-stone circle
beside a rock outcrop eventually, suddenly and dramatically
come into view. The two portal stones of this little 5-stone
stone circle are missing. Immediately S of the circle are 3
outliers from 1 to 3 metres tall, in a line over 6 metres long.
The site, as is to be expected, commands impressive views. To
the S and E are traces of prehistoric field-walls.
150 metres W are remains of a probable stone-row, also set significantly
beside a rock-outcrop. My colleague Tom FourWinds remarks that
the stone-row has "a rather unique design feature. The
tallest stone (2.5 metres tall) is a flat slab, but its axis
is aligned neither with nor at right angles to the axis of the
row. It is instead aligned to the axis of the long rocky outcrop
that is next to the stones. The axis of the row is NE-SW with
the tallest stone at the NE. This line points to a notch in
the nearby skyline." Two stones 20 metres to the N
may be the remains of another circle. Immediately N of these
sites, the mediæval road from Kenmare to Castletownberehaven
is still discernible as a wide, grassy track. Close to the car
parking area next to the muddy forest path up to the circle
are two standing stones (V 755 578). The smaller one is just
1 metre tall and leans. The taller stone is about 1.4 metres
tall. The backdrop of tree trunks makes them quite difficult
~ 6 km NE, in a beautiful setting between the two loughs of Cloonee
and Inchiquin at Uragh (V 832 625), is a fine 5-stone
circle, with a blade-like axial stone and a huge outlier 3 metres
It affords splendid
views, as does the second stone circle in the townland (V 825
630), 800 metres to the SW. Difficult to find among the bushes,
eleven low stones surround a central boulder-burial.
Outside the circle are two more boulder-burials.
~ 6 km SW is the fine
circle at Dromroe (V 882 658).
~ 4 km SSW is a rare
Irish "four-poster" stone circle mysteriously hidden in a grove
on the island of Knockcappul in the Kenmare estuary (V
768 577). It is accessible only at low tide. A gallows stood
here also in the 18th century.
~ 6.4 km SW of Dromobohilly
and 2.4 km SSE of Cashelkeelty is another stone circle dramatically
situated in Shronebirrane (V 753 554). Some 7 metres
in diameter, it is 4.8 km SW of Lauragh Bridge and visible to
the right of a road leading up a dramatic glen towards Eskatarriff
and The Pocket. Eight tall stones out of a probable 13 survive,
set unusually close together. Opposite the tallest (entrance
or portal) stone is the axial stone, with a straight top edge.
The other entrance-stone is missing. A bungalow has been built
right beside the circle, and the owners have been attempting
to charge money for access, which may be linked to the signposting
of the monument.
~ 8.3 km (WSW) at Glashananinnaun
(V 719 565) is a stone circle reminiscent of the 'coves' of
Stanton Drew and Avebury in England, now comprising 3 large
and equal slabs measuring 1.8 metres wide by at least 1.6 metres
tall, set at right angles to each other to form three sides
of a cube. They are too far apart to be the sides of a tomb-chamber.
~ 9.6 km SW is the
superb circle at Ardgroom Outward in county Cork.
Stone circle and Boulder-burial
V 882 658
About 5.6 km SW of
Kenmare, approached via a track leading SW from a by-road,
above a farm, a very picturesquely-sited circle encloses an
area over 9 metres in diameter. Three of the 13 stones (including
one of the entrance- or portal-stones) are fallen. In the centre
is a boulder-burial set with its long axis coinciding with that
of the circle whose flat-topped axial or recumbent stone is
at the SW. The three supporting stones are also flat-topped,
and between them and the large covering-stone are chocking-stones.
Nearby is an unique internal monolith.
km E of Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula, and S of the
road in the townland of Fahan, across a field, this fine fort
is a triangular headland defended on the landward side by a
massive, restored dry-stone wall with elaborate entrance and
internal terraces, and to seaward by high, eroded cliffs. The
side-walls of the long, lintelled entrance are recessed to hold
sliding defensive beams, and have guard-chambers on each side
with squint-holes for surveillance of the passage. From below
the passage a long souterrain
leads out at least as far as the second of 4 parallel defensive
stone-faced banks with ditches. Inside the fort are remains
of a large circular stone hut (clochán) with a
square interior. From it a stone drain leads to the cliff-edge,
where some traces of a curtain-wall survive.
~ Between Dunbeg promontory
fort and Slea Head are many stone forts containing circular
stone huts or clocháns of one, 2 and 3 chambers, especially
in the contiguous townlands of Fahan and Glenfahan. Unfortunately,
many locals are charging the unwary to cross their land to see
them. Others are demolishing forts which are on land they have
recently acquired, as scandalously happened with the huge promontory
fort, Dún Mór
(V 305 982), overlooking the Blasket Islands.
The best of the forts is Caher Murphy, 400 metres W of
the ford and about 100 metres N of the road at a little lay-by.
One of many forts to fall victim to fanciful Victorian restoration,
it is still well worth visiting, and contains five contiguous
circular huts. In the floor of one is an entrance to a souterrain.
~ Just over
8 km NNE, beautifully situated on a sandy knoll overlooking
Smerwick Harbour in Ballinrannig (Q 367 056), is
the only remaining in situ of seven ogam stones
exposed by a storm at the end of the 18th century. The
other six and a cross slab were removed by Lord Ventry,
four of them and the slab are in the collection at Coláiste
Íde (see Burnham under Ardamore,
above), and the other two are in the grounds of Chute
Hall, Tralee. The ogham inscription on this solitary survivor
reads, CUNAMAQQI CORBBI MAQQ[I MUCCOI DOVVINIA]S.
V 512 646
On the crest of a ridge
to the E of the main road 1.6 km SSE of Waterville, 4 tall slabs
from 1.8 to 3 metres high run from E to W. From one of these
an orthostatic slab runs S and looks like part of a tomb-chamber
or a kist set in an oval cairn 1 metre high. The association
of standing-stones with cairns is not uncommon in Kerry.
"unclassified megalithic tomb between the Finglas River
and the sea" in Ballybrack is known as Ballybrack Dolmen.
S is Loher stone fort or cashel (V 506 615), whose walls
survive to a height of over three metres and are 3 metres thick,
sloping nicely inwards as they rise. On climbing the internal
stairs (restored) you can see how well they are built. The inner
and outer surfaces are finely built with dry-stone techniques
and the gap between is filled with loose rubble. There is a
single massive doorway leading through into the inner area with
the remains of two houses, one rectangular and one circular,
with walls surviving to 1.5 metres. The site is protected on
three sides by high mountains, and the views are spectacular.
To the west there is plenty of good land and, beyond that, Ballinskelligs
Bay. The fort is well-placed to see any vessel that might come
in to land.
km S by W of the Eightercua stone-row is Coumatloukane"Boardeen"
- see under Staigue.
V 966 641
8.8 km SE of Kenmare,
to the S of a ruined church which is to the N of a by-road is
a remarkable smooth-topped boulder with 8 hollows in it, ranging
from small cup-marks to hemispherical basins about 30 sms across.
The larger ones carry oval stones latterly known as 'butterlumps'
. These are turned in their basins in the final stages of the
Easter 'pattern' or 'turas' which includes a well to
the E of the church, and part of the church wall. The 'patrún'
or 'pattern' is evidently of extreme antiquity - as indeed
are most in Ireland - going back at least 2000 years. In the
middle of the boulder a cylindrical stone of phallic shape stands
in a circular holed stone.
About 50 metres E of the bullaun, on the other side of the road,
is a boulder with a flat slab on top, upon which a cross was
erected in the late nineteen-sixties: Ireland is still - ineptly
- being Christianised!
1.6 km NNW (inside the Bonane Heritage Park: entrance
4 euros in 2008) is Dromagorteen stone circle (V 959 653), comprising
13 stones with one of the portal stones fallen. The axial stone
is not as obvious as usual. This well-preserved monument is
somewhat ruined by the proximity of the information boards,
which are mounted on tree stumps that have been stained a foul
vivid orangey-brown colour.
The site is quite high up and offers stunning views. One of
the information boards makes some interesting claims about alignments
to various points on the mountain-created horizon. Two of these
relate to sunrises, but the third is lunar. Apparently, at the
minor lunar standstill, the moon rises behind a large outcrop
known as The Altar and then appears to climb up the slope of
the hill that the Altar is on.
Immediately after the Fulacht Fia on the Heritage Trail,
there is an unusual bullaun
on the side of a large boulder. All around the bullaun are small
450 metres WNW, over rough terrain, is an overgrown Wedge Tomb
~ 9 km WNW is Dromroe
~ 12 km SSE in county
Cork are Mill Little stone circle and boulder-burials.
W 005 698
9.5 km E of Kenmare
and 3.2 km S of Kilgarvan, to the S of a track, on a ridge to
the N of the Glashagoruv river, the eleven stones of this circle
(10 metres in diameter) are set in splendid landscape. The large
axial or recumbent stone has a bevelled top edge. Opposite it,
two portal-stones lurch to the E. A large boulder stands in
the middle: the capstone of a boulder-burial. Two stones stand
outside the circle to form a kind of approach-passage, as at
Gowlane North in county Cork.
two views from only slightly-different angles,
by Ian Thompson
~ 4.8 km WSW at Lackaroe
(V 958 688) is another fine stone circle, rather harder to reach
and involving a 750-metre walk up a steep and boggy hillside.
It is almost complete with just a few fallen stones, situated
typically on a small plateau on the hillside that offers wonderful
views to the east.
stones are grey, whereas all the rock outcrops in the area are
a reddish colour. This gives the impression that they were brought
in from elsewhere. If the stones themselves, along with the
twisted thorn-tree that grows next to one of them, were not
splendid enough, the other features of the monument make this
a very special and possibly unique structure. In the centre
of the 10-metre-diameter circle there is a boulder-burial enclosed
by a smaller inner circle of stones.
~5 km WNW is the five-stone
circle at Dromatouk.
V 625 863
Sheets 78 and 83
around 19 examples of rock art have been recorded in this townland
alone, with two more in the adjacent townsland of Letter West.
Because many were almost entirely covered in peat they have
been amazingly well preserved, in dramatic contrast to the weathered
carvings which have been visible for centuries. There are some
unique cruciform designs with cups and pennanular rings at the
end of each arm, and sometimes inside the remaining 'slices'
of the axis. The picture below is of panel 331 as numbered by
the Archaeological Survey of the Iveragh Peninsula.
~ A short
distance S, at Coomasaharn (V 632 852), near the N end
of the lake of the same name, are several horizontal rock surfaces
decorated with circles, lines, cups and rings. The best surface
is 100 metres W of a modern bungalow at the end of the tarred
km N in Coolnaharragill (V 633 886) in the front garden
of (the former ?) Jackson's guesthouse to the S of the Cahirsiveen-Killorglin
road, is a boulder decorated with cups and rings.
same townland is a stone fort or cashel with an S-shaped souterrain.
km NE of Kealduff in a cillín (killeen) at Ballykissane,
NNW of Killorglin (V 773 980) is a petroglyphic boulder. A
cillín (misleadlingly meaning 'little church')
is a burial ground for infants that died before baptism, and
were buried away from the consecrated graveyard alongside others
deemed (contrary to the New Testament) to be beyond 'salvation'.
My colleague Ken Williams reports that "A very nice woman
who lives nearby nearly had tears falling when she was describing
how grief-stricken parents of infants were forced to bury their
children after midnight in this graveyard away from the community,
and could not wake them or find comfort in the normal burial
rituals". This cillín was, horrifically,
in use up until the mid 20th century, its graves marked with
rough stones and bits of boulder. Recently, perhaps in a hypocritical
moment of cheap repentance, a standing stone with a memorial
plaque for the children buried here was erected where the old
track to the burial ground met the road to the East.
art is now sitting under a tree along the borders of the raised
burial area but has been moved at least once. Along both sides
of a fissure are five cup and rings and around 12 deep and rounded
cup marks. Other rings may have weathered away.
is by permission through a farmyard along the road south.
11 km WSW (sheet 83) is the petroglyphic boulder at Ballynahow
Stone circle and Boulder-burial
V 907 707
On the SW outskirts
of Kenmare, 600 metres SW of Cromwell's Fort (a 17th century
castle), stand fifteen stones (two prostrate) which enclose
an oval area over 16 metres across, in the middle of which is
a good example of a boulder-burial comprising three small stones
and a large capstone. Recently, outrageously, this fine circle
has been incorporated in an expensive private garden!
~ 3.2 km NE of Kenmare
in Gortagass, down a lane to the NW of the road to Kilgarvan,
just on the other side of the dismantled railway is Cloch
a Caipín, a presumably natural curiosity (not marked on
the map). A very large round boulder sits neatly on a large
cylindrical boulder - resembling a giant mushroom.
East: Ogam stones
V 805 927
little more than half-way between Beaufort and Killorglin there
is an enclosure containing six re-erected ogam stones: broken
sandstone pillars, rectangular in plan, with deeply-incised
Kinard East: Ogam Stone
V 496 994
at the W end of the old graveyard is a rounded pulvinar stone
similar to one of the stones at Lugnagappul (almost 5
km ENE). On the side is a well-cut Ogam inscription reading
MORIANI, while on the E face is a large square divided by a
cross. My colleague Tom FourWinds
reports, however, that the stone cannot now be found.
250 metres SE of the pulvinar, in the second field above a group
of cottages to the right of a track, is a stone - some 3.5 metres
long - decorated with grooves and cups, many with rings. During
field clearance it was moved to the edge of the field so that
the petroglyphs were invisible and protected on the lower surface.
My colleague Tom FourWinds
visited it in 2007, by which time it had been turned over, so
that the petroglyphs are weathering. He took the photo below.
~ 5.6 km WNW at the top of the High Street in Dingle
town, is a boulder over three metres long, looking as if it
had been dropped from the sky, washed up by the sea, or parked
there like a car. It has four large bullauns
at one end, three of which are interlinked by shallow channels.
Close to these are two very small depressions. At the other
end there are several natural-looking rough cups.
V 446 811
Prominently sited on
top of a massive rock, 3.2 km WNW of Cahirsiveen, this fine
stone fort has a reconstructed dry-stone wall 3 metres thick
(but now only 1.2 metres high), adapting to irregular outcrops
of rock. There is a wall-entrance on the SW and remains of 2
terraces on the NE. Steps lead up to them at 10 points. There
were formerly 3 beehive-shaped huts inside, but only one survives,
with a (later) square house built against it and on top of the
ruins to two other houses. The round house abuts the wall of
the fort, and from its doorway a hole in the floor leads into
a souterrain some 10 metres long, ending in a wall-chamber.
There is another wall-chamber, entered by a short passage, in
the NE part of the wall. On
the aerial view below, Leacanabuaile is top left and Cahergal
(see below) bottom right.
metres N of Leacanabuaile is another stone fort called Cahernagat
(Cathair na gCat).
metres SE of Leacanabuaile is Cahergal, a fine but ruinous stone
fort, in the centre of which is a large oval dry-stone house
with walls surviving to a height of 1.5 metres (see photograph
~ Just over 8 km SW,
in Cool East (V 373 755), N of the northern (minor) road
leading SW from Knightstown to Bray Head, is Killadreenagh,
an ancient burial ground with an Ogam pillar some 1.9 metres
high, engraved with a Latin cross. About 100 metres NW of this,
on higher ground,
is a low wedge-tomb
with a portico and a single capstone measuring 3 by 2.5 metres.
South of the road is another Ogam pillar. There are several
pillarstones and an alleged (but dubious) stone circle in the
landscape to the S and E.
~ Almost 10 km ENE
are Ballyanahow Beg petroglyphs.
Stone circle and outliers
V 997 906
Only 3.2 km E of Killarney,
this too-well-known seven-stone circle within a low surrounding
bank of earth (beyond which stand two large outliers) is closed
to casual visitors, due to the amount of litter and other depredation.
Serious visitors can obtain permission.
Beg: 'City or Citadel of Shrone': Stone fort, Cross-slabs, Kist
and Holy well.
W 139 883
part of the site (in continual use for millennia) is probably
the remains of a megalithic kist in the middle. Today a pattern
is still observed at the holy well and cross slabs. There
are several ruined farm buildings on one side of the inner ward,
indicating that the cashel was used as a farm yard/homestead
at some fairly recent point.
The fort itself has suffered on the south side, with a large
portion of the wall missing. The northern, eastern and western
sections remain to a height of over 1.5 metres and over 3 metres
thick. There are two entrances, one of which leads from the
holy well which is just outside the walls.
Lying on the top of the cashel walls, facing into its centre
and overlooked by a large statue of the Virgin Mary, is a group
of of cross slabs. They form part of the May Day pattern.
During the ritual the participants trace out the crosses on
the slabs with a pebble, so the markings are very deep and crude.
On the other side of the cashel interior there are two pieces
of of exposed bedrock. These too have engraved crosses that
get the same treatment as the cross slabs. The site is overlooked
by The Paps of Anu, two of the most sacred hills in Ireland,
each nicely nippled with cairn on the top.
km SSE is another ritual site at Ballyvourney (county
Stone fort and Petroglyphs
V 611 633
Sheets 83, 84
This well-known and
restored fort 27 metres in diameter, is splendidly situated
at the head of a valley opening S to the sea., and is surrounded
by a ditch over 8 metres wide and, at present, 1.8 metres deep.
The massive wall reaches a height of almost 5.5 metres and is
about 4 metres thick at the base, tapering to about half as
thick at the top. Vertical joints in the walls show that gaps
left to allow access of carts etc. during building were filled
in later. The doorway is tapering and lintelled. Inside is an
elaborate system of stairways leading to terraces, and corbelled
cells in the wall reached by passages. Read
more about the recent history of the fort on the Voices
from the Dawn website.
~ About 800 metres
S of the fort and about 100 metres E of a disused bridge (beside
which the road bends to the W) is a large outcrop of rock, visible
from the bridge. On it is a fine series of cups and circles
and grooves extending for 12 metres along the rock surface.
~ 7.2 km SW, just
800 metres W of Caherdaniel hamlet and about 200 metres
W of the road to Waterville is another stone fort, beautifully
situated on a commanding outcrop of rock, whose switchback irregularities
make the construction most impressive.
Its walls are up to
4.5 metres high and enclose an area 25 metres in diameter.
~ 1.5 km SW of Caherdaniel,
immediately S of a by-road and overlooking the bay is Darrynane
(usually called Derrynane) ogam stone (V 535 589), a tall megalithic
slab with only traces of an inscription.
~ 3.2 km W by N of
Caherdaniel, just N of the main road to Waterville where the
Kerry Way joins it in Coomatloukane, near the summit
of the Coomakista Pass, is "The Boardeen" (Bord Eoghan
Fhinn or Fingal's Table), a conspicuous but denuded wedge-tomb,
whose dramatically-tilted capstone is 4 metres long by 2.4 metres
wide and 1.5 metres thick. There are no fewer than three other
wedge-tombs in the same townland on the other side of the road.
Another conspicuous Boardeen is, however, a natural