Visited on the 17th December 2011
Also known locally as The Fingers or 5 Fingers
The row can be seen on the hill, from the school car park. For access drive towards Castletownshend and there is a farm on the bend on your left just before the Castletownshend sign. The farmer is the owner of the land, he was very friendly and helpful and will give you permission and tell you the easiest way up to the stones.
He told us to go back towards the school but to pull in on the left by the gate to Knockdrum fort and park there, as he wouldn't be using the gate today. Cross the road go through the gate and head straight up and over a stone wall. Its only a five minute walk and you are at the stones. They appear as you reach the summit. Three tall stones standing sentinel over the whole of West Cork. With views stretching into County Kerry.
The stones themselves are as impressive as the setting. Three stones are still standing on a South West - North East axis ranging in height from nearly 8ft, to over 13'. There is a fallen stone at the North Eastern end. An original 5th stone was removed and now stands in a garden in Castletownshend.
As I arrived at the stones, a Merlin flew from a nearby bush.
It is a beautiful and peaceful place, I could have sat here for hours, soaking it all in.
Gurranes stone row actually lies to the North of Knockdrum, a reconstructed ring fort. The alignment is clearly visible from the fort and tracks across the skyline as you descend back to the road. There were, according to Roberts' "Antiquites of West Cork", originally 5 upright finger stones here. The missing fifth stone was removed during the 19th Century and installed in a Castletownshend garden.
Our second visit to this site and 53 weeks on from our first trip it still feels like a magical place. This time rabbits scattered into hedgerows as we approached. The views inland were more stunning than I remembered. From the lofty heights of Knockdrum we spotted the cows that share the field with the stones using them to scratch themsleves. A prosaic end to another fine visit. This is still my favourite ancient site.
I've also seen this referred to as Knockdrum. An impressive stone row in a special place. Park at the the School on the road into Castletownshend. The site is visible on the horizon to the west. You'll want to run there. A breathless gallop to embrace these four scrawny fingers. Three erect and one broken.
This is a special place.
Echoes of the Callanish silhouette here, and Trellech there. The fingers offer brief but welcome shelter from the winds.
Our visit in mid August 2001 was the highlight of a megalithamaniacs field trip. We dodged the recumbent bikes, camper vans and tourists later that day at nearby Drombeg and felt priveleged to have visited Gurranes earlier. We're going back next week to look where the fingers point.