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Drombeg stone circle

Drombeg stone circle
Ciorcal an Droma Bhig
Alternate name Druid's Altar
Location County Cork, Ireland

51°33′52″N 9°05′13″W / 51.564553°N 9.08702°W / 51.564553; -9.08702{{#coordinates:51.564553|-9.08702|type:landmark|||||| | |name=

Type Recumbent stone circle
Area Script error: No such module "convert". (diameter)
Height Script error: No such module "convert". (highest stone)
Periods Bronze Age[1] to early Iron Age[2]
Site notes
Archaeologists Edward M. Fahy (1957)
Management National Monument Servicea
Public access Yes
^a Allocated National Monument number 381

Drombeg stone circle (also known as The Druid's Altar), is a Recumbent stone circle located Script error: No such module "convert". east of Glandore, County Cork, Ireland.[3] (grid ref: 24672 35157, Latitude: 51.564553N Longitude: 9.08702W[4]) Drombeg is one of the most visited megalithic sites in Ireland and is protected under the National Monuments Act.


The stone circle consists of seventeen closely spaced stones spanning Script error: No such module "convert". in diameter, of which 13 survive. The most westerly stone (1.9m long) is the long recumbent and has two egg shaped cup-marks, one with a ring around it.[3] A "Cork-Kerry type" stone circle, it is flanked by a pair of 1.8m high axial portal stones, which provide a south-west axis, and orient the monument in the direction of the setting sun during the midwinter solstice.[2] The stones in the circle have been shaped to slope upwards to the recumbent stone, the midpoint of which was set in line with the winter solstice sunset viewed in a conspicuous notch in the distant hills. While the alignment is good, it is not precise.[5]

The ruins of two round stone walled conjoined prehistoric huts and a fulacht fiadh lie just 40m west of the monument.[6] Evidence suggests the fulacht fiadh was in use up until the 5th century AD. The larger of the huts had a timber roof supported by a timber post. The smaller hut had a cooking oven on its east side. A causeway leads from the huts to the cooking place (fulacht fiadh) featuring a hearth, well and trough in which water was boiled by adding hot stones.[3]


The site was excavated and restored in 1957.[2] During this process an inverted pot was found in the centre of the circle, containing the cremated remains of a young adolescent wrapped with thick cloth. Radiocarbon dating of samples taken from the site suggest that it was active c. 1100 - 800 BC. The pot was buried near the centre of the circle along with 80 other smashed sherds, four bits of shale and a collection of sweepings from a pyre.[5]



  1. "Was Drombeg’s stone circle designed using skills learned in Babylon?". Irish Times. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 E.M. Fahy (1959). "A Recumbent-stone Circle at Drombeg, Co. Cork". Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. 2 LXIV: 1–27. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Weir, A (1980). Early Ireland. A Field Guide. Belfast: Blackstaff Press. pp. p114–115. 
  4. "Drombeg". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Drombeg stone circle, Co Cork". Stone Pages. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  6. Noonan, Damien (2001). Castles & Ancient Monuments of Ireland. Arum Press. p. 85. ISBN 1-85410-752-6. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°33′52″N 9°05′13″W / 51.564553°N 9.08702°W / 51.564553; -9.08702{{#coordinates:51.564553|N|9.08702|W||||| |primary |name= }}