This large rectangular standing stone is on the north side of the Sheep's Head Peninsula. It is an impressive1.65m tall, now leaning at a slight angle. It. is orientated NW-SE and seems to be on a slight elevation with magnificent views out across Bantry Bay. Packing stones are clearly visible at its base.
A solitary standing stone, situated on low ground close to the water edge, looking out across Bantry Bay.
This single rugged stone sits at the edge of the sea shore amongst pasture over looking Bantry Bay and Whiddy island. It is now partnered by a windswept hawthorn and together they combine to make an evocative statement. Possibly aligned ENE-WSW.
Single standing stones, usually called gallan, have been placed for a multitude of different reasons from marking prehistoric burials, to commemorative or ritualistic purposes.
To get to this solitary stone you have to trudge through boggy pasture, skirting round the field edge until you arrive at the shore. What a fantastic view out across Bantry Bay and towards Whiddy Island. The stone appears to have been shaped, maybe to resemble one of the imposing mountains across the bay?
This pair of standing stones can be found in flat grassy pasture over looking Dunmanus Bay. They are just over a metre apart and are aligned NNE-SSW. One stone has a distinctive angled top while the other is more rectangular.
A solitary standing stone sited amongst rolling pasture. This stone is tall and skinny but unusually placed in that it is in a dip amongst the hills.
This imposing stone lies tucked off the path amidst the bracken. Fallen for many years, it has recently been re-erected. It is remarkable for the beautifully carved round hole running through it. The stone is 2.25m high and the holes is 13cm in diameter, 12cm deep. According to Jack Sheenan, a late local historian, it was a marriage stone 'The hole in the stone is narrow on one side and wide on the other. The man had a bigger hand and he put his hand through the wide side and the woman put her hand through the narrow side.They made their promises when they put their hands through the stone.' A hand slips through perfectly!
Apparently the house nearby was once the home of a healer. He is reputed to have made a barren sow fertile by laying his hand on her through the hole.
Look closer and you will see that the stone is on the edge of a ringfort.
Nearby site: Caherurlagh Ringfort
I went to investigate this sight on the spur of the moment having heard that the pathway to it had been recently cleared. It had and was easy to find, turn south by the end of the wall next to the house. It is a mysterious and evocative thing, placed on an elevated and windswept site over looking Dunmanus Bay. As I was returning along the path I saw a figure approaching - to my amazement it was my husband! No arrangements had been made to meet! I showed him the stone and we clasped hands through the hole. Jack Sheenan was absolutely correct.
The stone has recently been re-erected (July 2012)
This mighty standing stone is now resting in a private garden. It is an impressive 2.5m tall, chunky and leaning at a slight angle. It is aligned NE-SW. originally a pair, the second stone has long since disappeared.
This impressive boulder burial and accompanying two stone row is positioned on top of an east west ridge with commanding views across the landscape. The boulder itself is highly impressive, a huge white quartz erratic still supported by three smaller stones. The site was excavated in 1989 and all that was found under the boulder was a black silt deposit containing no trace of other organic material, no sign of a human burial. The two standing stones, notable for their very flat tops, were also excavated. They were found to be packed around the bases with smaller stones and one contained a small cist - a stone lined pit. More black silt was discovered inside the cist but no human remains.
Walking up the boreen, then out onto the ridge, this monument comes as a surprise. The landscape unexpectedly opens out and a wonderful location is revealed, looking out over a lush green valley. The site has a solidarity to it. The erratic is enormous. The effort and manpower that must have gone into manipulating this enormous boulder is mindbogging. It is also very beautiful. The white quartz is sparkling and tactile, what an impressive message it must have sent to those who constructed it. All the more strange that nothing appears to be under it. It remains timeless and enigmatic.