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
~ 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
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.
~ On 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 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.
Within sight, in Millstreet Country Park, is the 'complex'
of Cloghboola Beg.
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 modern
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
~ 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 safe) delivery.
~ Another holed stone
is at Lackendarragh, 7.2 km WNW of Kilquhane (see under
Garrane in part one).
~ 2.4 km SE of the
Greenhill Ogam stones is the fine wedge-tomb at Island.
km 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
fine example of a small wedge-tomb was 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.
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
~ 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'
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.
~ 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.
~ 3 km NNW, conveniently
beside a by-road in Maughanasilly (W 044 585) and overlooking
Lough Atooreen is a fine but uneven row of six stones including
two massive blocks (one of them rectangular with a perfectly
flat top), and two fine slabs with perfectly-horizontal upper
~ 6.5 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.
~7.8 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 back.
- On the other side of Bantry in Cullomane West (W
017 459) is an alignment of 3 stones, decreasing in size from
~ 7.2 km W by N of
Kealkil are the boulder-burials,
standing stones, and stone circle at Mill Little.
~ 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 the tombs.
1.5 km N in Gorteenakilla (W 143 693) is 'The Great
Stone' supposed to have been thrown by one giant at another.
My colleague Tom FourWinds 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 in two, his neighbours assumed that it had
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 originally had been. But it still stands just under
6 metres high - between two farm buildings.
Another (recumbent) stone nearby was also part of the legendary
battle, but was removed some time ago.
5.3 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 over 1.5 metres high. The
tomb is aligned E-W. To
add 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.
Stone Fort, Souterrain, and Cross-pillar
W 172 310
1.2 km 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 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. The
very thick cashel walls stand some 1.7 metres high.
~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
more 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.
3.5 km NW in Barnadivane (W 338 643) is a fine pair
of quartz standing-stones, 1.3 metres high.
5 km NW in Rossnakilla (W 3245 657) is an alignment
some 6 metres long, whose tallest stone (at the E end) stands
2 metres high. 50 metres NE is another stone, slab-shaped.
8.5 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.
~ Just over 5 km
W by S in Reanacaheragh (W 318 627) is a boulder-burial
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
~11.5 km WSW is
a fine stone circle at Gortroe (W 259 605) containing
and with a quartz
R 774 020
2 km 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 '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 Burren, Cavan.
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 the fosse.
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 'Bawn79'to
see a photo of the multiple-kist cairn
Just 2 km 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..
About 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 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. The only indisputable
four-stone circle in Ireland is in county Down
at Mullaghmore (see
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, who is said to be buried nearby. ('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.
9.5 km NW of Labbamolaga, and in countyLimerick,
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.
~ In 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
Less than 800 metres
SE of Lough Atariff, about 50 metres S of a narrow by-road,
this somewhat mournful 5-stone circle is just under 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), 1.75 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.
~ 800 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 stone-row.
weather it is not advisable to approach from the W.
~ 3.6 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 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, 7 netres
in diameter, one of whose portal-stones is missing, but retains
an original central stone .
~ 2.4 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 little boulder-burial,
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.
Farther 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
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.
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 Reananeree 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
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, into which
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.
~ There 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 quartz.
~ 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 by
N in Rooves Beg close to a by-road is another stone-row
of which one large stone still stands and five have fallen.
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. 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.
~ 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
Carrigagulla on the previous
~ 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 dramatic presence.
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 circles ?
W 312 791
6.4 km 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 quartz 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 in situ.
~ 4 km W by N of
"The Bealick" are two stone-rows in Cabragh. See
also under Glantane East.
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 boulder.
~ 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