Drombeg Stone Circle – Glandore
Drombeg Stone Circle, situated about two miles south-east of Glandore village, is probably the best known archaeological site in West Cork. Before it was excavated by Professor Edward Fahy in 1957, it was known locally to the locals as the Druid’s Altar. Professor Fahy found fourteen standing stones forming a circle, the diameter of which is 9.3 meters approximately. Three fallen stones were discovered and resonated bringing the total to seventeen. The majority of the stones are local sandstone. Within the circle there was a gravelled floor consisting of pebbles and flakes of slatey rock compacted. Beneath the floor, fire pits were found, in one of which was a broken pot containing some cremated human bone.
On the upper surface of the axial stone, the largest stone in the circle are two shallow cup-marks, one surrounded by an oval carving. The circle is orientated so that the main axis of the circle (a line extending from the middle of the gap between the entrance portal stones to the centre of the axial stone) is aligned north-east/ south-west so that the sun setting on the evening of the winter solstice shines directly on to the axial stone. Drombeg and the other forty or so stone circles in West Cork were ritual sites where ceremonies took place. West of the stone circle are the ruins of the oval huts made of standing stones. South of the hut is a Fulacht Fiadh or a cooking pit. The Fulacht Fiadh is oval, marked by a bank, of boulders, surrounding a stone-lined cooking pit a hearth and a well. Heated stones were used to boil the water for cooking. Professor Fahy conducted experiments to measure the efficiency of the hot stones in boiling hot water.
Seventy gallons of water were put into a trough and it was brought to the boil in eighteen minutes. Carbon dating done in the 1980s established the date to be in the 11th century B.C.
In the land of Mr. Jones, Droumbeg, Glandore, there is a circle of stones known as the Druids Circle and as they are all facing east they are supposed to be dedicated to the sun.
This is an extract from Eugene Daly’s book: Leap and Glandore Fact and Folklore.