Museums and Attractions

Museums and Attractions

Drombeg Stone Circle


Republic of Ireland

The Drombeg Stone Circle, or as it is locally known as the Druid's Altar, is located on the edge of a rocky terrace overlooking the sea about a kilometre away, in Glandore County Cork.

This is a circle of 17 standing stones which on excavation showed that there had been an urn burial in the centre. It has been dated to between 153 BC and 127AD. Excavations in 1957 and 1958 revealed cremated bones in a deliberately broken pot wrapped with thick cloth and buried near the centre of the circle along with 80 other smashed sherds, four bits of a shale and a collection of sweepings from a pyre.

To the west of the stones is a hut site with fulacht-fia cooking place. This prehistoric kitchen had a flagged trough in which water was boiled by dropping red-hot stones into it. Recent tests confirmed that using this method, 70 or more gallons of water could be boiled for almost three hours.

The midpoint of one of the stones at Drombeg was set in line with the winter solstice sunset viewed in a conspicuous notch in the distant hills; the alignment is good but not perfectly precise.

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