W 307 363
on the thumbnail for a larger picture
across a little valley E of the Clonakilty-Rosscarbery road
on a ledge of the hillside 2.4 km E of Rosscarbery, and approachable
through a farm to the SW of a by-road leading SW off the Rosscarbery-Clonakilty
road to the NE of the tomb.
Together with the tomb at Arderawinny, this picturesque
monument lies outside the general portal-tomb distribution.
It has a tilted capstone 3.9 metres long over an unusually long
chamber 4.8 by 1.2 metres, approached by a rudimentary funnel-shaped
court which betrays its court-tomb derivation.
What appears to be double-walling round the chamber has led
to the monument being classified as a wedge tomb, a view strengthened
by the length of the chamber. But these stones may be fallen
corbels, and its orientation to the E would be unique among
the 400 known wedge-tombs, and so most authorities regard it
as a portal-tomb. Its features suggest, however, that it is
a hybrid structure, and of course there must have been much
interpenetration and influence between the different (or not-so-different)
cults and world-views that we assume the different monuments
~ A little over 850
metres to the N is Bohonagh axial-stone circle.
V 875 307
on the thumbnail for larger pictures
This picturesque tomb
is 4 km WSW of Skull and about 90 metres N of the road from
Skull to Toormore Bay. in a little hollow, facing into a low
Arderawinny and Ahaglaslin are a pair of outlier Portal-tombs
in SW Cork, overspilling from the main group in the SW of Ireland.
The one at Arderawinny is well preserved, though leaning towards
the S. It has two overlapping capstones above a narrow chamber
which is almost blocked by a tall doorstone. Remnants of its
~ 1.6 km WSW and 20
metres to the W of the same road, where it meets Toormore Bay,
in Altar (V 858 303) is a Wedge-tomb one of whose two
capstones has slipped and is now leaning against the front (W)
end of the tomb - which points directly towards Mizen Head.
It is 2.4 by 2.2 metres with a square piece (? intentionally)
knocked off. The other capstone is 2.7 by 2.1 metres. Some of
the low orthostats and nearly all of the cairn are missing.
Excavations in 1989 showed that the tomb had continuous activity
surrounding it from around 2000 BCE to 1400 AD! Somewhat sterilely
furnished with its own car-park and information board, the structure
has undergone some renovation, but the concrete that now holds
up the walls is well hidden.
km NNW in Toormore, immediately S of the R.951
(V 855 308) is another ruined wedge-tomb of similar design,
excavated in 1990, whose single roofstone rests on rather rickety
walls. No traces of a covering cairn were found. Five separate
'depositional events' occurred between 1800 and 1600 BCE, soon
after the construction of the monument. The O.S. map shows it
in the wrong place: it is actually in the garden of the pub
to the east of the road junction.
~ 3.5 km NW in Dunmanus
(V 854 335), just 50 metres from the road - across a salt-marsh,
is a turtle-like boulder-burial. The area around and beneath
it has been excavated out and the four stones supporting the
top can be clearly seen. This little tomb seems to have been
erected to pay some form of homage to the only landmark in the
area, the low, but dominating Dunmanus West Hill.
~ 7 km NE in Rathcoole
(V 940 333) is an overgrown male/female pair of stones standing
in their own little field. They are aligned north-south, with
the male (more pointed and slightly taller) stone at the north
around 1.5 metres high.
~ 6 km
ENE in Skull (or Schull) (V 934 318) is a standing-stone
some 1.7 metres tall, on the driveway to The Standing Stone
Gallery & Exotic Plant Centre. Click for a photo by
~ 10 km
NNE on open moorland in Dunbeacon (V 927 393) is a circle
of 6 tall slabs still standing (at odd angles) and 5 prostrate,
including one at the centre. As at Bohonagh and Drombeg,
the sea is visible through a fold in the hills to the W of this
~ On the other side of the by-road to the E in Coulcoulaghta
(V 932 394 and visible behind an electricity pole from the stone
circle) is a pair of large standing-stones beside an avenue
of trees, the taller being over 4 metres and the shorter being
over 3 metres high.
km NE are the petroglyphs at Ballybane.
Outward: Stone Circle
V 708 553
on the thumbnail for larger pictures
a fine view from its exposed position over Bantry Bay 7.2 km
WSW of Lauragh Bridge and about 500 metres SSE of the R 571
road, approachable by farm-lane and across bogland, this fine
axial-stone circle has stones similar to the pillar-like slabs
of the smaller circle at Drombohilly (Kerry), 9.6 km NE. In
this circle also 9 stones survive, with some unfortunately missing:
one can be seen in a field-fence some distance to the N. They
range from l30 cm to almost 2 metres in height. Outside the
circle, to the E, is an associated standing stone. The axial
stone is, unusually, set with its long axis vertical.
NE is a small (bushy) stone circle at Glashaninnaun (V
719 565) comprising four massive stones two metres high by two
metres broad enclosing a space only 4 metres in diameter.
~ 3.2 km W is the tall
stone at Faunkill-and-the-Woods.
~ 9.8 km SSW is another
fine circle at Derreenataggart West.
~ Less than 4.5 km
E is Shronebirrane stone circle, Kerry.
~ Less than 4.5 km
NE is a 5-stone circle at Cashelkeelty (V 748 573).
W 018 387
9.6 km SE of Bantry
and l.6 km SSW of Ballybane House, immediately to W of a by-road
on a sharp bend, a large area of horizontal rock surface (not
pitted like most of the surrounding surfaces) is decorated with
circles and ovals up to 60 cm in diameter, at least one cup-mark
and several long straight lines, some of which are parallel.
The grooves are unusually wide.
~ The map indicates
another group a couple of hundred metres NNW.
~ 17.7 km SW is Arderawinny
~ 17.5 km SE are Gurranes
alignment and Rathdrum fort.
Monastic Site, Cross-pillar, etc.
W 198 768
This site, 13.6 km
WNW of Macroom, beside a by-road leading S from the N 22 road
between Ballyvourney and Ballymakeery, may be of extreme antiquity.
'St Gobnait's House' or 'St Gobnait's Kitchen' is a circular
hut (partly restored) with an internal diameter of 6 metres.
It was occupied in the Early Christian period by workers in
bronze and iron-smelters. In the graveyard across the road is
"St Gobnait's Grave": a small mound with 3 bullaun stones and
the abandoned crutches and offerings of hopeful pilgrims. Ballyvourney
is the scene of a 'pattern' still performed, and St Gobnait,
a virgin whose emblem is the fertility symbol of the bee, is
credited with the cure of the sick. (A legend connected with
St Gobnait has given the name to the townland of Lackavihoonig:
the flagstone of the thief. The saint fastened the thief and
the cow and calf he stole on to the flagstone on which they
were standing at the fateful meeting. The stone has the imprints
of feet and hooves upon it.)
The 'stations' of the pattern are marked by crosses incised
by supplicants on stones, boulders, and gate-posts. The mediæval
church incorporates a mutilated sheela-na-gig
above the 15th century S window (regarded as an image
of the Saint and touched during the performance of the 'pattern')
- and a human-mask voussoir, known as 'The Black Thief',
from a Romanesque arch, now situated on the W side of the chancel
~ About 1.2 km ESE
in a glade in Shanagloon townland are "St Abbán's
Grave" (a small cairn), a bullaun stone, and three Ogam
stones. A fourth has been removed. The others have been deliberately
~ At the other side
of the main road, in the middle of a large field 800 metres
down a by-road (first turn on left past Ballymakeery if going
in the direction of Macroom) is "St Gobnait's Stone",
found at the site of a dry Holy Well nearby. It is a fine cross-pillar
some 90 cm above ground, bearing on each face a cross-pattée
of arcs inscribed in a double circle. On one face this
is surmounted by a small crozier-carrying figure with parted
hair, resembling a portrait in the Book of Durrow.
km NNW of Ballyvourney, E. of a lane leading from the main road
towards Lough Carrignafurark, in Slievereagh, are 2 large,
pointed stones 3.3 metres and 1.2 metres high, whose parallel
perpendicular faces are only 70 cm apart. Behind them is a low
slab, apparently for support. Two stumps lie on either side
of the stones, making the monument appear like the remains of
km NNW is another ritual site at Shrone Beg (county Kerry).
W 485 873
This is the best-known
alignment in the area, 13.6 km SW of Mallow, on a hill to the
W of the Mallow-Coachford road about 1.6 km SW of Bweeng. Known
as 'An Seisear' (The Six), five stones from 1.8 metres
to 3 metres high are standing, while a sixth is prostrate.
The area is rich in
prehistoric remains, especially Standing-stones.
~ A short
distance NW and close to Bweeng in Glandine (W
482 889) is a pair of stones sited in a field beside a deep
valley overlooked by the strange 'Monkeys Bridge'. The taller,
pointed stone is 3.3 metres and the smaller, more rounded one
is 2 metres high.
~ 1.6 km S by W is
Gowlane North Stone Circle.
~ 3.6 km NNW are nother
alignments in Garrane.
Stone Circle and Boulder-burial
W 308 368
for a larger picture
2.4 km E by N of Ross Carbery, to the NW of the road from Ross
Carbery to Clonakilty, halfway between it and the by-road leading
to Quaker's Crossroads, four out of the original 13 large stones
of this impressive circle are missing, and 3 were re-erected
after excavation. The 2 portal stones are 2.4 metres high and
are set radially. The axis from these to the large axial-stone
on the W side points to sunset at the equinoxes.
metres E of the circle is a boulder-burial,
resembling a low, rough, diminutive dolmen, whose large capstone
has seven or more small cup-marks on its upper surface. Two
of the three small supporting stones are of quartz;
a fourth has been uprooted. A loose slab nearby also bears cup-marks.
The complex, which included a rectangular wooden house (excavated)
was revealed to be of Bronze Age date, as might be expected.
metres SW and 1.5 km) E of Rosscarbery, a short distance W of
a by-road in Burgatia (W 303 355), is another boulder-burial,
comprising a large boulder resting on the inner edges of 2 flat-topped
blocks, one of which is a quartz conglomerate.
metres S of Bohonagh is Ahaglaslin portal-tomb.
nearby stone circles are at Knocks, Drombeg and
Stone-rows and circle
W 278 795-9
This group of monuments
is 10 km due S of Millstreet and 9.6 km NW of Macroom, and 4
km WNW of Scrahanard wedge-tomb, to the E of a long track
leading to Carriganirtane. About 150 metres E of the track is
a stone-row 9 metres long of six stones 90 cm apart, two of
which have fallen. The tallest stone still standing is 180 cm
high; the southernmost stone (fallen) is 2.75 metres long.
~ Another row (at W 279 793), visited by my colleague Ian Thompson,
comprises five standing and none fallen. The stones form an
east-west aligned row on the top of a rounded platform. To the
north and south low, rocky hills block the views. To the east
and west are fine panoramas.
~ 500 metres NNW (up the track, but not visible from it, at
W 278 798) is another alignment, connected perhaps with a (?)
tumulus about 100 metres E of the track, of four stones, grooved
on top, l metre apart, and respectively 3.3, 2.75, 2.4 and 2.1
metres high. Close to the E end of the row is a 5-stone axial-stone
circle, whose two portal stones are still visible; two other
stones are incorporated in a field fence, and one stone is missing.
S of the tumulus is an isolated standing stone 1.5 metres high.
~ 800 metres N, just
S of the summit of Carriganirtane hill, in Carriganirtane
is a fine low wedge-tomb nearly 4 metres long with 3 roof stones
and some double-walling on both sides.
~ On the W side of
the track leading up to Cabragh and Carriganirtane, in the townland
of Clashmaguire (W 280 786) can be seen a fine pair of
standing stones which seem to fit into the category of male-and-female.
~ 1.1 km S of the Clashmaguire
pair and 1.8 km S of the Cabragh alignment (W 282 775) in Caherkeegane
is a fine standing-stone.
V 765 355
6 km WSW of Kilcrohane,
about 120 metres N of the road to Sheep's Head, near the townland
of Ballyroon. Caherurlagh is a very small townland, and once
it is located, the stone can be found with local help. When
I saw it in the nineteen-seventies it was lying prostrate on
the W side of the fence to a field which occupied the site of
a stone fort. The entrance to the field was said to be the entrance
of the fort. The half-buried stone is 2.25 metres long and the
hole is 13 cm in diameter and 12 cm deep. The centre of the
hole is 43 cm from one end and 13 cm from one edge. The house
nearby used to be occupied by a healing man who, amongst other
cures, made a barren sow fertile by laying a hand on her through
the hole. The stone has lain prostrate for at least 70 years.
other holed stones
see Doagh, Antrim and Hurlstone, Louth.)
W 371 835
Surrounded by an amphitheatre
of hills, 2.8 km N by E of Ballynagree and 11.2 km NNE of Macroom,
about 150 metres to the E of a good track leading up to the
monument-rich Boggeragh mountains, at a point where the track
dips into a valley, this fine axial-stone circle, 8.2 metres
in diameter, comprises sixteen stones and a misplaced one. They
vary in height from almost 90 cm down to just over 30. Unusually,
the long, straight-edged axial stone is not the lowest; the
highest is next to the lower of the two portal stones. In the
middle of the circle is a boulder.
~ About 250 metres
N, in the next field, at the edge of a coniferous forest and
near the river Laney, is another circle of classic 5-stone,
D-shaped type, whose axial stone has a (naturally) bevelled
~ Just under 1 km S
(W 371 829) is a seriously disturbed alignment of at least four
stones, only one of which remains in its original position.
Three others were removed and now stand as gate-posts nearby.
A fourth may not have belonged to the row.
stone-row lies just over 1 km E (W 383 829).
~ Just over 2 km SE
is one of two circles in Oughtihery townland (W 391 821),
a very neat five-stone construction just 3.2 metres in diameter,
with field-stones dumped inside. The overlooking hill feels
important to the site. It and the circle, and a large 4-metre-high
and sculptural standing-stone 2 fields away (W 393 822) form
The other Oughtihery circle is on sheet 80 at R 416 802:
a multiple-stone circle of which only 5 stones (including the
km ESE is Knocknagoun wedge-tomb.
~ 9.6 km SW is Scrahanard
Stone-row and Boulder-burial
W 486 608
on the thumbnail for more
5.6 km N by W of Bandon
and about 70 metres W of a by-road, this superb alignment commands
fine views and comprises 4 stones increasing in height from
2.2 to over 3.4 metres. A prostrate stone between the two smallest
is not original. In the next field, 400 metres to the N, is
a large rounded boulder is set on 3 supporting stones between
40 and 60 cm high, and a little above a fourth stone.
200 metres from the
alignment (W 486 612) is a single standing-stone 1.4 metres
Beg: Stone circles, etc.
W 305 852
In Millstreet Country
below and within sight of Knocknakilla Hill and its better-known
stone circles - see under Glantane East, below) is a
'complex' of stones and circles described as follows by Ken
"The park has a visitor centre, restaurant,
gardens, water courses complete with jumping salmon, wandering
deer - and this magnificent Bronze Age site.
"When you first see it after a 15-minute walk from the
visitor centre, the first thing that springs to mind is how
well preserved is the medium sized circle with its low stones.
You can't help wondering about the intriguing arrangements of
stones surrounding it. Then you read the information board and
find out that the 'circle' is in fact that curious arrangement
of slabs that looks like it cannot decide whether it is a ruined
portal- or wedge-tomb. When complete this must have looked more
like a five stone rectangle. The portals are set radially and
the remaining side-stone, its cropped opposite partner and the
axial form a neat box. The stones still (barely)standing
are mostly over 1.2 metres tall. A pile of 'left-overs' lies
to one side.
circle is almost perfectly circular, and could have been transplanted
from Beaghmore in Tyrone;
it is similar in size to the smaller circles there, but obviously
the radial setting of the stones make this example remarkable,
if not unique. Near the centre is a fallen stone about one metre
long. To the NW is an alignment of three fallen stones; to the
SW of this row are two more prostrate long stones. To the SE
of the circle is a outlier (1.5 metres high) which has almost
fallen into the circle itself. Other stones jut out of the grass
over 3 km NW in Cloghboola More (W 277 872) is another
alignment, of one large well-shaped stone over 3 metres high,
and two rather smaller ones.
metres W of the alignment is a stone circle (W 274 872).
W 443 784
Less than 20 metres
SE of the ruined church of Aghabulloge, 7.2 km NW of Coachford,
to the E of a by-road leading NW of the road from Aghabulloge
to Rylane Cross, is a damaged Ogam stone 1.5 metres high, also
bearing 3 plain crosses, and crowned with Caipín Olainn
(St Olann's Cap), a lump of quartzite. Originally there were
two superimposed stones, but because of the phallic character
and popularity of the monument (as a cure-stone for barrenness,
headaches, etc.) a local priest removed them. They were promptly
replaced by the present caipín.
~ 135 metres N, in
a field, is "St Olann's Stone", a boulder with "the
~ About 400 metres
NNE of the church, by the W side of the road, is "St Olann's
Well", a corbelled, clochán-like well-house with
an ivy-covered hawthorn-tree growing out of it. Nearby is a
second Ogam stone, just under 2.7 metres high, which reads RQIDEGO.
On the 5th of September there is a pattern around the
caipín, stone, and well. This is evidently a site
of great antiquity, only superficially Christianised.
The country round about
is littered with stone circles, standing stones, souterrains,
and Ogam stones:
~ 3.2 km N is Rylane
~ 3.2 km NW is the
more easterly of the two Oughtihery circles.
~ 3.8 km NNW is Knocknagoun
~ 9.6 km NNE is Beenalaght
~ 11.2 km W are the
monuments around Scrahanard wedge-tomb.
Stone circle and megalithic landscape
V 935 583
marks the stone circle, one of several stone-rows (mostly fallen)
and a boulder-burial
- but there is reportedly more besides (including hut-sites)
on a remote plateau above Glengarriff with panoramic views to
East, South and West. The nearby laneway seems to be lined with
About 850 metres NW, in the 'Burial Ground' marked on
the map, is a fine megalithic bullaun.
Several kilometres SE, in Gortnacowly (W 088 543) are
the dramatic remains of a fine four-poster circle, the tallest
of whose three long stones is 3.2 metres high. The fourth stone
was apparently still standing at the end of the 19th century.
on this photo by Ken Williams for a view from the other side
km SW in remote Ballynahown (V 843 516) are the remaining
two sidestones and a roofstone of a little wedge-tomb offering
fine views over Bantry Bay, and aligned to midwinter sunset
over a spur of Hungry Hill to the SW.
West: Stone Circle
N 665 463
Situated 1.2 km WNW
of Castletown Berehaven and 50 metres N of "The Beara Way",
eight of the post-like stones of this neat circle are standing,
including one of the radially-set portal stones. The other portal
stone has broken, and three other stones of the circle have
fallen. The axial stone is a fine slab 1.2 metres high and 2.1
Almost 1 km east of Derreenataggart is Chaislain Bheara
standing stone, fenced in on a rocky outcrop close to some recently
built houses (V 673 458). It stands 3.2 metres high, and is
Just under 10 km NNE is another circle of post-like stones at
km NNE at Kilmackowen (V 680 495) are a standing-stone
and wedge-tomb. A fine slab some 3.5 metres tall and 1 metre
broad stands on the northwest face of Eagle Hill in the Slieve
Miskish Mountains to the north of Castletownberehaven. A stile
thoughtfully put up by the landowner into the next field leads
to a charming little wedge-tomb on a small raised platform.
Both its sides are formed using single slabs and there is some
close-set double walling on the northern side. The front is
open to the west. A single triangular roofstone covers the unsegmented
A very unusual and significant arc of stones runs down the field
and across to the standing stone in the next field. This does
not appear to be any form of field boundary, because it does
not extend beyond either monument.
under 8 km NE in Cloontreem (V 694 489), spectacularly
sited close to the "O'Sullivan Beara Way" in the Slieve
Mish mountains above Castletownberehaven is a dramatic but ruined
wedge-tomb, with two fine façade-stones still standing
like portals, and a large, squarish roof-stone leaning against
the only side-stone not to have fallen.
~ Just over 6.4 km
N by W is the tall Ogam-inscribed standing stone at Faunkill-and-the-Woods.
~ A little over 8 km
E by S, in Ardaragh on Bear (or Bere) Island (linked
to the mainland by-road) is a wedge-tomb close to a lane from
the old British naval rifle range to Rerrin hamlet. It comprises
a collapsed main chamber about 5 metres long, the front (W)
end of which is a short portico or antechamber with a septal
stone 1.3 metres high.
Stone Circle and Cooking-place
W 247 352
on the thumbnail for larger pictures
Thirteen out of the
original 17 stones of this impressive circle (2.4 km E of Glandore,
250 metres down a path to the E of a by-road) survive, the most
westerly of which is the fine axial, which has two egg-shaped
cup-marks, one with a surrounding ring. The two portal stones
(1.8 metres high) are as usual on the NE side. Radio-carbon
tests on the cremated burial found in the centre of the circle
gave a date between 150 BC and 130 AD, though the circle itself
is almost certainly Bronze Age. The long-continued use and re-use
of sacred sites is not uncommon in Ireland (see Altar
under Arderawinny, above). This
is one of the few megalithic sites on the Tourist Trail, and
it has suffered accordingly from the feet and eating-habits
of people who have no particular interest in stone circles or
megaliths in general. And
instead of the horribly-inappropriate 'official' gravel, white
chips would be much more in keeping with ancient tradition.
over 30 metres to the W are the remains of 2 conjoined round
huts, the larger of which had a timber roof supported by a central
post. The smaller hut had a cooking-oven on its E side. From
the huts a causeway leads to a cooking-place containing a hearth,
a well, and a trough in which water was boiled by dropping in
hot stones — almost 350 litres could be boiled within 15 minutes
of the stones being dropped in. The presence of the stone circle,
huts, and cooking-place suggests that annual or seasonal gatherings
took place at a sacred site down to the fifth century AD, the
dating obtained for the cooking-place.
~ The stone circles
of Bohonagh and Reanascreena South are not
W 215 608
This fine alignment,
1.6 km W by N of Poulnaberry Bridge, comprises five stones (some
broken), ranging from 1.4 to 3 metres high. It is beautifully
situated and commands a splendid view.
~ 2.4 km ESE, in Inchincurka
(W 233 596), 1.6 km E by N of Poulnaberry Bridge and 150 metres
(in the second low, lush field) N of the road, is a wedge-tomb.
Though it has been used as a dump for field-stones, its state
of preservation and accessibility make it worth visiting. The
narrow wedge-shaped gallery (3 metres long) is covered by three
overlapping roofstones. Its characteristic flat façade
(facing West) is formed by two stones 1.4 metres high, and much
of the tightly-set double-walling survives. There is no evidence,
however, of a portico or antechamber.
~ 5 km
SSW in Inchireagh (W 190 564) is an easily-accessible
but inelegant example of a 5-stone circle, some 2.5 metres in
diameter, with a tiny axial stone - and fine views of the hills
to the SW.
km W by N of Farranahineeny, about 1.2 km SW of Cloghboola Bridge,
and about 85 metres N of the road, in Cloghboola, (W
142 613) a small neat wedge-tomb, one metre high with a capstone
2.4 by 1.5 metres, is hidden, unfortunately by a dreary forestry
plantation. I have not yet managed to visit this tomb, nor any
of the other megaliths in the area, including a reported stone-row
at Cornery, about 1 km NE of the bridge and 25 metres
SE of the road (not marked on the map); wedge-tombs in the hills
to the N in Carrigamuck; and "Bord na Rí",
a remote but promising-sounding wedge-tomb in Derryriordane
(W 133 617) just S of a stream flowing down from Douce Mountain.
~ 6 km N of this unvisited group is the fine wedge-tomb at Keamcorravooly.
(Ballycrovane): Ogam Stone
V 657 529
and splendid pillar-stone stands 5.1 metres high. It is to be
found just over 200 metres SE of the Coastguard Station at Ballycrovane
harbour in a field to the W of the road. Visitors may be charged
for crossing the field, but the stone can be sen well from the
nearby roads. It was probably erected long before the Ogam was
cut into it, because of the bad placing of the upper letters
of the inscription, which reads:
MAQI DECCEDDAS AVI TURANIAS (Of the
son of Deich, descendant of Torainn).
~ 300 m SSW (a short
distance SW of the main road) is an axial-stone circle of eight
very low stones at the end of a low mound.
~ 3.2 km) E is the
stone circle at Ardgroom Outward.
over 6.5 km S by E is another circle at Derreenataggart
to the village of Knockroe (V 599 413) the slender Cahermore
standing-stone, some 3 metres tall, with its broader sides
facing east/west, is not visible from the main road, but affords
fine views. According to a local informant, the already-leaning
stone fell over after a spell of wet weather in the 1980s. His
father (plus friends) re-erected it using a JCB. Parking is
in a lay-by approximately 250 metres west of the gate to the
W 478 911
3.2 km NW of Bweeng
and 11.2 km SW of Mallow, just visible on the rising slope 200
metres S of a T-junction at the bridge over the Duvglasha river,
this fine alignment (or stone-row) offers a panoramic view across
the valley of the river Blackwater. It comprises three stones
close together and measuring from 2.5 to over 3.7 metres high.
A fourth one has fallen.
stone stands about 100 metres SE, and there is a second row
(of 3 stones) 300 metres S, beyond a strip of conifer-plantation.
300 metres ESE is a cashel with remains of circular stone
huts inside, and a nearby souterrain.
~ 2.4 km NNW, about
900 metres E by N of Lahuran crossroads, in Gneeves,
is another, unusual, alignment of 3 stones whose broad faces
are parallel, but not in line. The highest is 2.6 metres.
km due S, and 20 metres NE of the road from Bweeng to Lombards-town,
4.8 km NW of Bweeng, is Lackendarragh holed stone. It
is in an enclosure known as Kilkillin (cut through by the road),
which seems to have been an early Christian graveyard. Nearby
is a souterrain. The slab is 122 cm high and 2.7 cm thick. At
the S edge is a curving hole, probably formed naturally, 5 cm
in diameter, 11.3 cm on its long side, and 5 cm on its short
side. A report in the 19th century alleged that 'handkerchieves'
(probably rags) were passed through it to cure wounds. Skulls
have been found round about, and many local stories of supernatural
moving lights, etc, are associated with the site.
2.2 km S in Glandine townland (W 482 889) is another
pair of standing-stones, sometimes erroneously listed as Monkey's
Bridge. They are on a fairly steep, east-facing slope overlooking
a relatively deep glen overlooked by the strange phenomenon
of Monkey's Bridge, with a fast-flowing stream at its bottom.
The N stone is 3 metres tall, pointed and slender, while the
other is a more rounded, slab-like stone a metre shorter. This
could put them into the male/female category of stone pairs,
but it seems more likely that they are the remains of a longer
photo by Derek Ryan
km SE in Bweeng is a wedge-tomb (W 508 890) which looks
to be intact as you walk up the farm track. All the orthostats
that face you are upright and support roof-stones - all of which
seem to be present. It is not until you get to the tomb that
you see that it is not actually perfect: the orthostats on the
uphill side have all collapsed under the roof-slabs, pitching
them up at an angle.
It is hard to imagine that this monument ever had a cairn covering
it, as it has been built running east-west across a significant
north-facing slope. If there had been a cairn, it would have
had to be huge on the N side. On the N side there is evidence
of double walling and maybe even buttress stones - probably
put there to stop orthostats from collapsing down the slope.
~ 3.6 km SSE is Beenalaght
~ 7.2 km ESE is Kilquhane
holed stone - see under Greenhill.
East: Wedge-tomb and Stone Circles
W 282 836
Visible to the W of
a by-road running N and skirting a forestry plantation, this
neat little wedge-tomb (known locally as "The Flags") stands
90 cm high in a field, and has a capstone 2.4 metres square,
resting on two sidestones and a back-stone. Some of the double-walling
survives, and a small stone 40 cm high splits the entrance between
the two side-stones. Although a National Monument, access has
been made difficult with barbed wire.
~ Barbed wire also
festoons the fence into the next field (to the NW) where there
is a stone circle almost 5 metres in diameter, five of whose
stones are still standing and six have fallen, some into the
surrounding ditch, at least part of which is faced with stone.
There are two outliers to the N and S sides, 4 metres tall and
recently re-erected - but one has fallen again! In the middle
of the circle is a large hole, where presumably a boulder or
boulder-burial stood until recently. As with most stone circles,
the site commands a fine prospect. It is one of a group of circles
with ditch and bank which include Reanascreena South,
as well as Lissyviggeen in Kerry.
~ 400 metres SSW, W
of the lower road, beside a derelict (maybe now rebuilt) house,
up a grassy lane bounded on the N side of spruce-trees, and
itself surrounded by trees, in the same townland (W 280 833)
is an axial stone circle, 4.7 metres in diameter, of ten stones
and a loose flagstone lying beyond the axial stone. The portals
opposite the axial are 81 cm high.
the opposite side of the lower road, some 800 metres SSW of
the wedge-tomb is an alignment of three stones, one being 2.4
metres high and the other two (broken) surviving to a height
of 90 cm.
This part of Cork is especially rich in megalithic remains.
See also under Cabragh and Scrahanard.
km NNE is a five-stone circle (three stones undisturbed) with
outliers and a radial cairn (similar to the Kealkil complex)
at Knocknakilla (W 297 843). The circle has good portal-stones.
One of the outliers (over 4 metres long) to the SW of the circle
has fallen, but another, though leaning, stands 4 metres high.
There are other circles in the townland - and a bogus modern
dolmen has been erected. Within sight, in Millstreet Country
Park, is the 'complex' of Cloghboola Beg.
photo by Jim Dempsey
~ Just over 1 km SE
is a five-stone circle at Carriganimmy (W 293 827).
~ 4 km S are Cabragh
stone-rows and five-stone circle (W 278 798).
North: Stone Circle
W 484 856
1.7 km S by W of Beenalaght
alignment and 3.2 km N of Donoughmore, 400 metres W of the road
and at the bottom of the second field NW from a pair of field
gates is a perfect circle, 7 metres in diameter. It comprises
eight stones (two fallen) averaging one metre in height, two
of which, only 90 cm apart, form an entrance to the N with another
pair set radially outside the circle, slightly farther apart.
This entrance passage, 2.1 metres long, faces a large axial
stone: a rectangular slab 150 by 90 cm on the opposite side
of the circle. One
of the entrance stones has been broken since I first visited
the circle in the late nineteen-seventies, and it now seems
to be used (with the usual Irish disrespect for antiquities
and landscape) as a place to dump large stones dug up by destructive
W 585 918
8 km SSE of Mallow,
and about 300 metres S of a by-road, by a hedge on the W side
of a field is a large fragment of an irregular block on which
the clear inscription CATTUBUTTAS MAQ. . .
survives. About 40 metres further, on the other side of the
hedge and bank is a fine, large, tapering stone 2.4 metres high,
on which is the inscription TRENU MAQI MUCOI
QRITTI, together with deep grooves above and below the
N, and other grooves made recently by vandals. Quartz
pebbles abound nearby.
In the middle
of a field about 200 metres E of the second stone is a fine
standing stone 1.8 metres high, with a remarkably smooth E face.
~ 5.6 km SW (9.6 km
S by W of Mallow), almost opposite the ruins of a church, and
about 10 metres N of a by-road, in Kilquhane, is a holed
stone, now prostrate, 1.80 metres long, 70 cm wide and 25 cm
on its thick side. Near the thin edge of the stone, 73 cm from
the near end and 56 cm from the thick edge, is an irregular
hole from 6.2 to 11.3 cm across, and of a depth varying from
5 to 19 cm. This stone, known as "The Sinners' Stone" (Cloch
na pecaib), was resorted to by pregnant women, who pulled
pieces of cloth through the hole to ensure easy (or at least
~ Another holed stone
is at Lackendarragh, 7.2 km WNW of Kilquhane (see
under Garrane, above).
~ 2.4 km SE of the
Greenhill Ogam stones is the fine wedge-tomb at Island.
W 175 315
on the thumbnail for larger pictures
NW of Castletownshend, visible on a ridge to the N of theroad
to Skibbereen, on the opposite side of the road to Knockdrum
fort, three slender pillars (up to 4.2 metres high), known as
'The Three Fingers', rise dramatically against the sky, evenly
spaced and set into joints in the exposed rock surface. A fourth
stone lies prostrate nearby, out of line. A fifth stone was
removed in the 19th century and now stands in the Somerville
Estate at Castletownshend.
~ 17.7 km NW are the
petroglyphs at Ballybane.
W 603 908
8.8 km SSE of Mallow
and 1.2 km E of Burnfort, to the W of a by-road, approached
up a lane and through a depressingly-squalid farmyard, this
is a fine example of a small wedge-tomb, excavated in 1957.
The gallery, 6 metres long, and facing SW, is a single chamber,
bounded by typical double wall of stones. Parallel to the gallery
is the heel-shaped kerb which connects with the flat façade
of the tomb. The thin roof-stones are in situ, and much of the
cairn material survives between the gallery and the kerb.
Stone Circle, Standing Stones and Cairn
W 054 556
on the thumbnail for larger pictures
This impressive and
splendidly-situated monument is 800 metres SE of Kealkill village
and about 180 metres NE of a sharp bend on a steep by-road,
from where the tops of the standing stones are just visible.
Overlooking Bantry Bay and Kealkill village, it comprises a
fine 5-stone axial circle of large stones, with 2 outlying monoliths,
the higher of which is now almost 4 metres high. It was originally
over 6 metres high. This is one of the few circle sites to have
been excavated, and inside the circle was found a setting of
crossed timber sleepers which may perhaps have held an upright
of wood or stone. Like most stone-rows, the two outliers are
on a NE-SW axis, parallel with that of the circle and aligned
on a notch in the hills opposite. Nearby also is a small cairn
of stones incorporating a circle of small upright stones set
radially (see also Knockraheen under Scrahanard).
~ Just over 400 metres
SW of The Kealkil monuments, in the third field on the opposite
side of the road, in Breeny More (W 050 552) are the
remains of a large multiple-stone circle enclosing four boulder-burials
set in the form of a rectangle. All four of their large
capstones are very equal in size and shape and the 'artistic
ensemble' is beautiful.
The circle must originally have been impressive, but the only
stones now standing are the entrance stones, the axial stone
(overthrown) and three others. The site is located on the edge
of a steep drop away to the northwest.The standing stones of
Kealkil can also be seen in the distance to the NE.
~ 2 km SSW is a five-stone
circle nestling against the south side of a wall in Derryarkane
(W 052 537). Two large thorn trees are growing on the south
side of the stones (all about 1.2 metres high) make it even
harder to detect in the landscape. One of the portal stones
has fallen. The entrance and the almost-square axial stone to
the SW are aligned with a notch in the distant hills.
~ 2 km
ESE in Ardrah (W 069 544) is an alignment of 4 stones,
one of which is 2 metres high.
~ 3 km NNW, conveniently
beside a by-road in Maughanasilly and overlooking Lough
Atooreen (W 044 585) is the fine but uneven row of six stones
km N by W, also by the roadside in Derrynafinchin (W
047 622) is an overgrown circle with a large quartz
boulder in the centre. A fallen orthostat has a large cup-mark
carved into it, and, next to the axial stone is an altar-like
structure which could be an ancient addition - or date from
Penal times and thus be one of the few surviving "mass-rocks"
at a site sacred to at least one older cult. Another large stone
within the circle may be a boulder-burial.
~ 5 km ENE is one of
two stone circles in Maughanaclea (W 104 565), easily
accessible by a farm-lane. With good views to the N, it is over
10 metres in diameter and contains two boulder-burials. Twelve
of the original 13 stones survive, six of them fallen. The axial
stone is, as usual, long and low.
1.5 km E by S of the
first circle, immediately W of a tarred track (W 090 563) is
a five-stone circle with an outlier 2.4 metres high.
~ 7.2 km W by N of
Kealkil are the boulder-burials, standing stones, and stone
circle at Mill Little.
km SSW of Kealkil and only 4 km E by S of Bantry is a perfect
five-stone circle at Trawlebane (W 042 470) swamped by
brambles in 2003, and only 1.8 metres in diameter.
~ Not far away from Trawlebane (and only 4.5 km ESE of
Bantry) is another five-stone circle, incorporating a field-wall
and much rubbish, at Cullomane (W 036 454). 20 metres
from it is a low outlier.
Farther NE (and 5 km ESE of Bantry) in Inchybegga (W
048 460) is a rather vague (despoiled ?) circle of low stones
(none over 30 cms high) dominated dramatically to the NE by
hills which form the shape of a pregnant woman lying on her
~ On the
other side of Bantry, in Cullomane West (W 017 459) is
an alignment of 3 stones, the tallest being 1.4 metres high.
~ 10.3 km ESE of Kealkil
at Cullenagh (W 151 519) is an intact but overgrown five-stone
circle close to a by-road.
~ 11.5 km ESE in Clodagh
(W 153 500) is a compact little circle of seven stones (or nine:
two stones may have broken in two) just 30 metres above a by-road.
The stones (including a very low axial) form a complete ring,
so there is no proper entrance. Small quartz
pebbles sit on top of the stones that are still standing upright.
To the SW, parallel to the axis of the stone circle, are a pair
of outlying stones that are of similar height to those of the
circle - no taller than 1 metre.
W 138 679
75 metres S of a by-road,
opposite a small plantation of spruce trees on either side of
the road, some 11.2 km SSW of Ballyvourney and 800 metres WSW
of the Bansheelin river, "The Giant's Grave", (An Uaigh an
Fhathaigh), is a neat and picturesque tomb about 3.6 m long,
with two overlapping roof-slabs, the easternmost of which is
supported by a small chocking-stone on top of the backstone.
It is markedly wedge-shaped, and retains much of its double-walling.
Like most of the Cork wedge-tombs it is low, the entrance being
about 106 cm high. It commands a fine view of the hills to the
N and W. About 200 metres further up the hill, on a ridge, is
a second, ruined, wedge-tomb. The large field in which they
stand has been planted with forest which probably now hides
1.5 km N in Gorteennakilla (W 143 693) is 'The
Great Stone' supposed to have been hurled by one giant
at another. My colleague Ian Thompson reports that the
owner of the land was known locally for not caring about
old stones. When he walked into the pub one night and
said it had fallen over and broken, his neighbours assumed
that it had gone forever.
Much to everyone's surprise the farmer, who was also a
stonemason, inserted rods into the two halves to join
it back up, hired a crane and re-erected it. But when
it lowered the stone into its new concrete footing it
was set about 30 cm lower than it had originally been.
But it still stands over 6 metres high.
Another (recumbent) stone nearby was also part of the
legendary battle, but was removed some time ago.
km ESE in Turnaspidogy (W 189 666) is an alignment
of three stones around 2 metres high, one of which has fallen.
They are set on a little flat shelf on the side of a gentle
slope. Modern farming and hedgerows have removed hints as
to why this spot was chosen.
R 505 059
as 'Acuthogue', and situated 4.8 km SW of Buttevant and
1.2 km ENE of Kilmaclenine Crossroads, on the left hand side
of a lane leading NNW from a by-road, this box-like tomb (an
enormous kist ?) was opened in the last century and found to
contain 'a skeleton, a sword and some beads'. The roofstone
is over 2.75 metres long, supported on two sidestones and a
backstone almost 1.5 metres high. The tomb is aligned E-W.
to its oddness, it seems to be set into a massive mound that
has been mutilated over the millennia, now having the appearance
of grass-covered sand dunes.
photo by Derek Ryan
Stone Fort, Souterrain, and Cross-pillar
W 172 310
W of Castletownshend, on the S side of the road, opposite Gurranes
stone-row, approached by a path and steps, this fort was restored
in the last century and encloses an area 22 metres across. In
the middle is a roofless square stone hut, from one corner of
which a 3-chambered lintel-roofed (and now gated) souterrain
runs through hewn rock. Just inside the entrance to the fort
is a cross-pillar (presumably found nearby and erected here
by the restorers). Recently
moved to just outside the entrance, and probably not directly
connected with the fort, is a large boulder bearing about 40
cup-marks, with a few associated grooves and rings, dating from
the Bronze Age.On
the right hand side of the entrance passage is a small guard-chamber.
walls stand to a height of around 1.7 metres and are extremely
~17.7 km NW are the
petroglyphs at Ballybane.
W 425 832
10.4 km NNW of Coachford
and 2 km N of Sheskinny Cross, 60m E of a track, a quaint, low
tomb, with a gallery about 2.1 metres long, closed at the E
end, is covered by 2 capstones. The larger (2 metres long) overlaps
the smaller, and they rest on 6 sidestones and a backstone.
Round about is some evidence of a cairn. Up to the end of the
last century it was completely covered by cairn stones. Attempts
to destroy the sepulchre led to several misfortunes, and only
the cairn and most of the outer walling have been removed.
W 371 632
northerly of the two is a fine five-stone circle, 5 metres in
diameter, whose taller stones stand some 1.6 metres high. One
of them has beautiful solution pits in the top and strange axe-shaped
hollows on its flank. The altar-shaped recumbent is 1.5 metres
long and 1.1 metres high.
500 metres south
of it (W 371 627) is a much larger, but ruined circle, 15
metres in diameter and scandalously unprotected from cattle,
with stones of 1.3 to 1.5 metres tall surviving mainly on
the North side.
~ Just under 4 km
ENE in Currabeha (W 412 640) is a circle of many small
stones, 8 metres in diameter and with a quartz
boulder in the centre. Its axial-stone is 1.3 metres long
and 8 cms high. 400 metres NW (411 644) in the same townland
is another more ruined multiple-stone circle of similar diameter,
but with a quartz
boulder on its circumference, and an outlier some 40 metres
NE. The site commands fine views.
~ 2.7 km NNW in Clearagh
(W 363 652) is a rock 3 metres long with cup-marks and faint
but impressive parallel lines, grooves and double rings.
km NW in Barnadivane (W 338 643) is a fine pair of
standing-stones, 1.3 metres high.
km NW in Rossnakilla (W 324 657) is an alignment of
three stones some 6 metres long, whose tallest stone (at the
E end) stands 2 metres high. 50 metres NE is another stone,
km W by N, on a ridge in Knockaunnagorp (W 287 637)
is a beautiful standing-stone some 2 metres high, dressed
on three of its four sides.
over 5 km W by S in Reanacaheragh (W 318 627) is a
which looks 'just like a dolmen that shrunk in the rain'.
A large boulder (with solution pits on the top) covers a small
stone lined chamber, the whole surrounded by a small kerb.
~11.5 km WSW is a
fine stone circle at Gortroe (W 259 605) containing
and with a quartz
R 774 020
SE of Glanworth and 8 km NW of Fermoy, by the roadside, over
a wall, this is the largest of Irish wedge-tombs. Three huge
capstones (the largest being nearly 8 metres long and weighing
10 tonnes) slope downwards towards the back. The gallery consists
of a large rectangular chamber, with a small one behind it,
separated by a dividing slab, one corner of which has been trimmed
off to leave a soul-hole or ''half-porthole'. The gallery is
triple-walled, and buttressed at the back by 3 slabs set parallel
with the tomb's axis. In front of the gallery are the remains
of a large rectangular, unroofed portico or antechamber, wider
than the gallery and cut off from it by a large slab. It is
one of many tombs — especially wedge-tombs — to be (latterly)
associated with the Celtic Hag-goddess also known as Caillech
Bhéarra: Labbacallee (Leaba Caillighe) means
"Hag's Bed". Other tombs are associated with the lovers
Dermot and Grania in the folk tradition. The sepulchre resembles
a French gallery-tomb
in size and design, a similarity shared by the wedge-tomb at
Just over 3 km WNW of Labbacallee in Moneen (R 746 028)
is a ring-barrow within which was built a Bronze Age multiple-kist
cairn. There is a curiously smooth stone in the S corner. A
food-vessel burial and an urn burial were later added outside
In the adjoining field is a single megalithic kist, looking
like a mini-dolmen, just 60 cms high, which is reported to have
been used as a mass-rock in Penal times.
on this photo by Derek Ryan
see a photo of the multiple-kist cairn
NW of Glanworth in Ballylegan (R 745 054) is a fine (though
leaning) standing-stone well over 3 metres tall, situated some
500 metres (3 fields) from a minor road. One side of it is split,
and weathered at the top - though it
is not apparent in this photo by "bawn79".
4 km N by E is the bullaun-stone at Killeenemer (see
under Labbamolaga, below).
(Labbamologga) Middle: Standing-stones or circle, and 'cursing-stones'
R 763 176
In a field close to
a by-road in the townland of Knockanevin are four stones
(one broken) about 1.5 metres high forming a rectangle 5 metres
by 1.5 metres which has suggested to some that it is one of
the few Scottish-style "four-poster" circles in Ireland.
(See also Lettergorman, below.) If so, it is unusually
large. An early 19th century report puts the number at 5, while
locals at the same time averred that there had been 8. The only
indisputable four-stone circle in Ireland is in county Down
at Mullaghmore (see under
However, nearby to the N are the remains of an early stone church
with charming dolmen-like doorway, which is not aligned E-W
but towards the woman-shaped Galty Mountains somewhat N of E.
The stones of this doorway could well have come from the nearby
field, in which case there would originally have been a short
avenue of standing-stones. The church is dedicated to St Molaga
(probably a Christianisation of the Celtic god Lug, who is said
to be buried within. ('Labba' =
bed.) There is a later church alongside it to the N, and under
a slab nearby are three of the "cursing-stones" or
cure-stones associated with the site. (See also Killinagh,
Six, located inside the N church, were reported early in the
last century. The three others may well be buried in another
spot. This is certainly a most interesting site, which is exhaustively
described and illustrated on the Voices
from the Dawn website.
km NW of Labbamolaga, and in county Limerick,
is Ballyriggin Standing-stone (R 695 240), of curious
shape and close by a lovely stream. It is approached down a
track that is used by the Kilfinnane Outdoor Pursuits Centre.
by Derek Ryan
a field close to a by-road about 11 km S by E at Killeenemer
(R 776 067) there is a boulder with three very large bullauns
up to 30 cm in diameter.
W 262 456
than 800 metres SE of Lough Atariff, about 50 metres S of a
narrow by-road, the somewhat-mournful 5-stone circle is nearly
3 metres in diameter, with stones up to 1.5 metres high, the
axial stone being 1.4 metres high and a little longer. One portal
stone has fallen, as has a large quartz
monolith: an outlier that would have occupied a position along
the axis in the direction of Carrigfadda hill to the SW. This
circle is referred to either as Lettergorman S, or Lettergorman
~ A likely "four-poster"
circle lies in the same townland (W 267 473, marked Standing
Stones), 1.7 km NNE, comprising 3 stones ranging from 2
to 2.5 metres high, and, 75 metres W another stone which may
or may not be the missing fourth, removed for some other use
- such as a scratching-post.
metres NW, and 5 fields in from a derelict house on the left
of the same by-road, in Knockawaddra West, is
an alignment of four stones, in descending height, the highest
of which is 3.5 metres, commanding a view over the Glashagloragh
river valley. When ploughing the adjacent field a farmer observed
'a bright red streak in the soil' extending eastwards from the
wet weather it is best not to approach from the W.
km E of the Lettergorman Southwest circle, and 150 metres (second
field) S of the Clonakilty-Dunmanway road, in Knocks
(W 300 458), is yet another circle. It has 2 good, tall portal
stones, with 5 others visible, and the axial stone is embedded
in a fence. The farmer on whose land the circle stands cleared
the field and dumped the stones in the circle, which local opinion
considered to have been the cause of the mysterious deaths of
his cattle. In the same townland (W 303 443) is another circle,
eloquently described by my colleague, Ian Thompson:
am going to stop saying things like 'This damaged site is
a great loss', because they are all a great loss! The location
of this circle is beautiful...well, it would have been before
modern farming encroached upon it. It is nestled amongst a cluster
of rocky outcrops, one of which occupies a prominent position
100 metres away along the line of the axis. 150 metres to the
south a river carves its way through the land, filling the air
with the babbling of water. On this visit this sound had a couple
of cuckoos on backing vocals.
stones now remain describing a circle 7 metres in diameter.
The axial stone is nice and broad while each of the other stones
are very equal in shape and size. These are slightly taller
than the axial stone and rectangular in plan.
In the centre of the circle is a sixth stone - a sole menhir
which must be part of the original design as it is exactly the
same shape/size as the other stones. Or perhaps it was relocated
from the circumference to the centre for some reason, perhaps
to despoil the sacred area within.
One of the entrance stones is luckily still there, which is
set radially and the inner stone is in line with this and the
corresponding edge of the axial stone opposite.
for another photo
walk past the beat up Ford Fiestas at the start of the farm-track
that leads right up to the site is soon forgotten once you reach
this place. The site seems to exude a magic, which is amazing
when you consider the relatively poor state of the monument.
I actually think that this site could have this effect even
if you took the stones away, but then I would not have come
here to experience it. This location chose itself and the genius
loci that called the builders to come here still lives on
regardless of 'modern' man's efforts to kill it."
km S by W of the first Lettergorman circle is another circle
at Maulatanvally (see under Reanascreena South).
~ 6.6 km N by W in
Ballyhalwick (W 253 521), beside a by-road and a stream
are two attractively-chunky survivors of a stone-row.
Little: Stone Circle and Boulder-burials
V 988 555
7. 2 km due E of Glengarriff,
and 100 metres W of the south-flowing Cooleenmane River, 50
metres W of a tributary stream which joins the river at Millbeg
Bridge to the E, this 5-stone circle was unusual in having the
entrance stones (now disappeared) set roughly parallel to form
a short entrance passage — a feature sometimes occurring in
multiple-stone circles. W of the axial stone is a beautiful
like a miniature dolmen only 125 cm high, whose rounded cover
rests on three supports. S of this is another boulder, possibly
the cover of a second burial.
S again is a boulder-burial whose cover has been displaced and
lies on the ground. SE of the latter are 2 outlying rectangular
slabs, set close together and aligned NNE/SSW, the larger of
which is 110 cm high.
It has been speculated that at this beautiful site a multiple-stone
circle was destroyed and replaced by a '5-stoner' and boulder-burials.
~ 7.2 km E by S, are
the stone circle and standing stones at Kealkil.
Stone Circle and Alignment
W 204 724
on the thumbnail for a larger picture
4.8 km S of Ballyvourney,
300 metres SE of Reananerree Church and 200 metres E of the
road to Ballyvourney, in the middle of a large field is a very
small 5-stone circle (or rather an oval) 2.6 metres in maximum
diameter, with small stones ranging from 30 cm (the axial stone,
in the foreground) to 85 cm in height.
~ 120 metres SE of
the circle is a circle of six stones (marked Stone-row
on the map) decreasing in height from 150 to 50 cm. It is unfortunately
divided in two by a stone fence and a line of spruce trees,
but once commanded a fine view.
~ 1.5 km NNE, and 500
metres ESE of the site of demolished Gortanimill House, near
the top of a rock outcrop about 80 metres E of the by road from
Reananerree to Ballyvourney, in Gortanimill (W 208 741),
is a multiple-stone circle of 12 stones about 90 cm high enclosing
an area 7.5 metres in diameter, with 2 small quartz
boulders in the centre. The site commands fine views, and is
one of the few circles which can be viewed from above.
km NNW of Reananeree, and 2.4 km NW of the Gortanimill circle,
in Gortnatubbrid (W 193 759) is another circle, three
of whose four stones are about one metre high, and the fourth
slightly taller - a characteristic of the rare "four-poster"
type of stone circle.
South: Stone Circle
W 264 411
4.8 km NNW of Ross
Carbery and 800 metres NW of a by-road at a height of 170 metres,
a circle of twelve large stones (2 forming a portal, with the
axial stone opposite) is surrounded by a low earthen bank with
a shallow ditch, similar to the circle at Glantane East. The
axis points WSW and thus, unlike the nearby late circles of
Bohonagh and Drombeg does not relate to the sunset
at either solstices or equinox. But on approaching this lovely
site, laudably well-maintained by the farmer on whose land it
lies, the visitor may notice the alignment of the axial stone
with a dip in the hills beyond, where the Midwinter sun sets
dramatically (though not from within the circle because of trees).
Excavation suggested a date of about 1000 BC for an intrusive
central burial, but the circle could be several centuries older.
are several other axial-stone circle-sites in the neighbourhood,
including one which is 3.2 km due N of the Reanascreena site
and 100 metres E of a by-road in Maulatanvally (W 264
442). Only six stones (out of a probably 13) survive, including
one portal stone 1.4 metres high, and a tiny axial. Small quartz
pebbles surround a central white quartz boulder. This site (like
several other megaliths in the neighbourhood) is dominated by
Carrigfadda Mountain, crowned with a huge and hideous white
Crucifixion, not really triumphing over the sacred, ancient
~ 4.5 km N is a five-stone
circle (W 262 456), and, 6.2 km N (W 267 473 - marked Standing
Stones on the map) a likely "four-poster" circle - both
in the townland of Lettergorman .
W 456 702
3.2 km S by W of Coachford,
in fields to the S and W of a by-road, situated tangentially
between two raths (Iron Age farmsteads) this strange alignment
is about 400 metres long. The stone nearest to the road (originally
almost 3 metres high) is now prostrate and broken in two. It
may have been a single standing-stone. In the next field, to
the SSW, is another prostrate stone 4.8 metres long beside a
large boulder and a notched, leaning upright stone 3.1 metres
high. In a third field, also to the SSW, is a cup-marked stone
1.6 metres high, together with a greatly cup-marked boulder.
The fort on the other side of the road to the NNE end of the
stone-row (marked Ogham Stones on the map) has a deep
ditch between two banks and a line of three low boulders outside
it. The entrance of this fort, the first standing stone, and
the smaller overgrown fort are all in line - which may or may
not be fortuitous.
~ 500 metres W in Rooves
Beg (W 452 702) close to a by-road is another stone-row
of which one large stone still stands and five are fallen.
W 882 672
seaweed-draped tomb is both curious and bleak, situated 10 metres
below high-tide level on the S side of a narrow creek opening
into Cork Harbour some 8 km E of Cobh. Though two metres high,
it does not look at all like a portal-tomb, but is more likely
to be the remains of a megalithic kist. The orthostats are slotted
into the limestone pavement it stands on. The
orthostats are slotted into the limestone pavement it stands
on. My colleague Tom
Four Winds visited it in 2007 and reported: "A
moderate-sized capstone is held aloft by just two orthostats.
Between these, at the west end, there is another stone forming
the chamber. This looks as if it was the back stone and not
uprights are 2 metres tall, about 1.5 metres wide, and they
stand 1.5 metres apart. The high tide reaches at least halfway
up these, so coming at high tide probably isn't a good idea.
Beneath the exposed seaweed around the tomb's base I stumbled
(literally) upon another large flagstone. This, presumably,
was once part of the tomb.
To the west of the monument there are several large boulders
that have been beautifully eroded by the ebb and flow of the
tide. At the water's edge there seems to be an old quarry, which
could be where the stones for the tomb were taken from."
While a distant view of the dolmen may be had
from the village of Saleen across the estuary, access to the
tomb itself is not easy. At low tide, with a pair of waterproof
boots and maybe a staff or walking-stick, it is a walk of about
a kilometer from the closest seaside parking area, along the
rocky and wracky shore. There is also a route down toward the
estuary from the Rostellan Woods car park, but the path may
disappear into nettles before it reaches the shore.
W 438 814
This neat five-stone
circle has two matching, block-like entrance stones and a large
blade-like axial stone which is leaning into the circle.
~ 1.6 km E by S, close
to a by-road in Kilcullen South (W 453 813) and beside
a large rath (ringfort), are two standing-stones 1.5 metres
high, with a prostrate slab in between. The western stone has
a very weathered ogam inscription. On the other side of the
road are two standing-stones, one of them prostrate.
~ 2.7 km SW is the
more easterly of the two Oughtihery circles (see under
~ 3.2 km S are the
standing-stones at Coolineagh.
R 050 048
This isolated monument
affords spectacular views. To the East rise the mountains of
the Dingle Peninsula, and to the south The Paps of Anu are a
Four stones of the
circle still stand upright, one of which is presumably an outlier
of what was a five-stone circle. Next to these there are at
least seven other stones that are very similar to the ones still
standing. Might this have been a unique pair of five-stone
W 312 791
N by W of Macroom, by a field-fence immediately to the W of
a narrow by-road from Carriganimmy to Macroom, 500 metres NW
of a junction, "The Bealick" is a 'National Monument' engulfed
by brambles - and the landowner has tried to prevent access:
so much for "State Care"! It is a well-preserved tomb
with a capstone 2.3 metres by 2 metres wide, its gallery intact
as well as most of the double-walling. The backstone of the
gallery, and the sidestones adjoining it, have scratched marks
on the inside face, more lightly incised than those at Baurnadomeeny,
Crosses were scored on the outside face of one of the stones
in the last century. In the same field stands a single slab
and also what looks like an untouched cairn. Beyond the cairn
is a souterrain.
~ 70 metres SE of the
circle is a cairn with radial stones on its perimeter, surrounded
by a ditch and an outer bank. Two other cairns lie about 130
metres NE of the circle. The group seems to have been a large
single ritual complex (compare Kealkil).
~ The area around Macroom
and Coachford is very rich in prehistoric remains, especially
standing-stones and stone-rows.
~ In the adjoining
townland of Lackaduv, on the other side of the road,
approached by a track opposite "The Bealick" and situated on
a rocky slope, is an impressive wedge-tomb. The capstone is
2.4 metres long and 1.8 metres wide. Much of the double-walling
~ In Knockraheen,
1.6 km NNW of "The Bealick", a short distance to the N of the
same road (W 303 802) is an elegant 5-stone circle with a long,
low axial, low axial, and remains of an alignment (two fine
stones 1 metre high still standing and a third prostrate) 40
metres away on the same axis.
From here, amid a dramatic
landscape, can be seen the two large standing stones on the
ridge of Knockraheen mountain. 100
metres NE is a large radial cairn, over 8 metres in diameter:
a low pile of stones with most of the radially set stones still
~ 4 km W by N of "The
Bealick" are two stone-rows in Cabragh. See also under
~ About 7 km NW, just
2.8 km ENE of Macroom and 9.6 km W by N of Coachford, up a tarred
lane and over 3 fields to the N. In a field about 400 metres
from the river Laney and 1.6 km NE of Macroom (New) Bridge in
Bealick (W 362 741) stands a small, denuded tomb with
a large capstone 360 by 210 cm and 45 cm thick, and a wide,
natural groove running its entire length. The overall height
of the tomb is 1.5 metres.
North: Stone Circle
and Early Christian Site
W 388 447
Sheets 86 and 89
Immediately E of the
road, 4 km N of Clonakilty, are the remains of a fine large
stone circle, of which only 5 large stones — all flat-topped
— out of a probable 9 now survive. These include the axial-stone,
and one of the portals which is almost 2.1 metres high. In the
middle of the circle, which is about 10 metres in diameter,
is a quartz
photo by Ian Thompson
~ Some 300 metres NW
is a neglected enclosure containing graves, a ruined square
oratory, a souterrain, a holy well (‘Tobernakilla'),
and a fine tapering monolith 3.3 metres high, low down on whose
W face is a worn cross-pattée
and a faint Ogam inscription reported to read ANM
TENAS MACI V. . . They were both carved on an existing
standing stone which may have had some connection with the stone
km WSW in a nondescript situation at Ballyvackey (W 344
426) is a ruined circle of which seven stones survive, including
the axial and one entrance-stone.