May 27th 2016
Oh what have they done to Dunbeacon Stone Circle. I hadn't visited it for a few years now and was looking forward to catching up with this ancient, wild, enigmatic circle.
Nice suprise to start - a stile signed Dunbeacon stone circle - leading along a newly constructed path (with several more stiles). So far - so good. Then the last stretch, and I can tell that it's not going to be good. The wire fenced avenue turns into a wooden fenced coral. The stones, imprisoned in a begrudgingly small pen. The wildness has gone, the mystery has gone. You might just as well be standing in a sterile museum environment. What have they done ?
visited on the 5th December 2011 after looking in on the Coolcoulaghta Standing Stones.
Walk up the lane from the car parking spot by the stones,and you will come to a gate on your right (there's a no unauthorised people beyond this point type sign !). Go through the gate and follow the track to the barn. The farmer was here, and he gave me permission and the best route to get to the circle.
Go through the gate to the left of the barn and follow the track down and to the right. There was a bull in here, which the farmer assured me was "docile". Go through another gate and into the field. The circle is up on the hill. It's a bit wet underfoot, but the worst of it is easily avoided.
This circle is in a lovely peaceful setting, with Dunmanus Bay to the North, Mount Corrin to the East and Mount Gabriel to the South.
It is the only stone circle on the Mizen peninsula. Out of eleven stones six are still standing and five lay flat with a central slab.
There was enough time to take some photographs and admire the setting, before the rain started, quickly turning into hale...... so I beat a hasty retreat back the way I had come. The bull watching my every move, but too busy eating to be bothered with me.
One of my favourite aspects of stone circles in the southwest of Ireland, is their 'integration' in the surrounding landscape. Dunbeacon is a great, if not the best, example how much a site can gain attraction, simply from a well chosen location.
The stone circle lies about 3.5km southwest of Durrus and is the only one found on the Mizen Head peninsula. The circle is not signed, but east of the circle lies Dunbeacon Stone Row, which is signed and where you can park and leave your car. Follow the road uphill for ~250m until you reach a house on the right side, with a lane in front of it that leads west to a barn. Follow this lane, bypass the barn and you should see a farm track with a few gates that leads to the circle.
Of eleven tall stones only six still stand and in the center lies a slab-type stone. The site offers spectacular views to the north, northeast and south, but the most impressive one is over the circle to Mount Corrin.
If you think you're not sensible for 'spiritual' stuff, than sit here on a sunny day, enjoy the silence, let your eyes wander around and take a break from everyday life. This experience will probably change your mind, I can tell you first-hand ;-).
Visited around June 1998
Just as we pulled up at the point on the small country road nearest to the circle, it began to drizzle despite the bright sunshine.
We headed across a field in the direction of the circle, but the rain drove my (less megalithacentric) companions back to the car.
I continued uphill, becoming drenched but focused on skirting the fields leading to the circle. Once I sighted the circle I was so wet that there was no way I was going to turn back!
This circle is fairly 'knocked about', with several of the stones leaning at various angles and a couple fallen. I must admit that to me that just added to the attraction, making the circle feel more 'real', more 'used', more 'ancient'.
As I reached the far side of the circle I turned to look back the way I'd come and was rewarded with the sight of a vivid rainbow arcing perfectly above it....