The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian



Stone Circle

<b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by caealunImage © Derfel
Also known as:
  • Ahakista

Nearest Town:Durrus (9km ENE)
OS Ref (IE):   V860397 / Sheet: 88
Latitude:51° 35' 54.5" N
Longitude:   9° 38' 43.63" W

Added by RedBrickDream

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<b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Meic <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Meic <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Meic <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Meic <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Meic <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Meic <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Nucleus <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by Nucleus <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by bawn79 <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by caealun <b>Gorteanish</b>Posted by RedBrickDream


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The memorial was to Tom Whitty - an American whose inspiration was the Sheepshead Walk - the stone circle was discovered as the walk was being cleared. The circle has 11 stones and there is meant to be a boulder burial to the immediate south of it. There's also a huge fallen stone to the west of it. The axial stone could be aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice. It's a wonderful place with fabulous views across Dunmanus Bay. Go the the tin pub - Tom Whitty used to be the landlord so there are connections all round! Posted by flora
7th November 2002ce
Edited 29th December 2002ce

This multiple stone circle was, according to a local I met whilst visiting, "rediscovered" about a decade ago by the person responsible for establishing the Sheep's Head Way long-distance walk. Apologies, I forget the name, but he is commemorated by a memorial which was unveiled by the American Ambassaodr at the steps leading to the site. A real rarity this in Cork, I think only Drombeg and Kealkil can steer the megalitamanics gaze quite so clearly with such signage. The site is well sign-posted from the village of Ahakista and is a short walk from the fabulous tin pub. It is the only significant site on the Sheep's Head peninsula - a finger of land which is much less frequented by humans than either the Mizen or the Beara.

Since the Sheep's Head way was established the circle is now much easier to access, the site being partially cleared of the bracken and ferns which cover the low hills nearby.

Despite this it is still difficult to get a real feel for this place. Vegetation hems you in on all sides and the circle is in a ruinous state. I want to suggest that this is an 11 or 13 stone circle, and is about 7 yards in diameter. I was unsure about its orientation but I would suggest it was approximately SSE. The axis stone is now sheltered by a tree which has clasped its roots around the feet of the stone. Travelling on the road back towards the village of Ahakista I noticed a good example of an increasigly common site in Cork front gardens, "the pop stone row". Rather worryingly these looked like the real thing. I wonder if in millennia to come whether megalithamaniacs might be seeking out the stones currently located at the entrances to industrial estates?

If you go to this stone circle don't forget to vist the tin pub.
RedBrickDream Posted by RedBrickDream
28th August 2002ce
Edited 23rd January 2003ce


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Roaringwater Journal

Sheep’s Head Stone Circle Revived!

Article on the restoration of the stone circle at Gorteanish.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
9th August 2023ce