Stone Circle
Co. Cork
Nearest town: Skibbereen
Nearest village: Glandore
Map references: Map 4 (South) 124035 - W247352

Drombeg ImageThe recumbent, obscured by the other stones on the right, is almost in line with the midwinter sunset

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This lovely recumbent stone circle is locally known as the Druid's Altar, and is located on the edge of a rocky terrace with fine views to the sea about a mile away. The word Drombeg means 'the small ridge'.
    Of the original 17 pillars of smooth-sided local sandstone erected in a circle of 9.5m (31ft) in diameter, only 13 remain. To the left of the north-east entrance is a portal stone 2.2m (7ft 2in) high; its opposite is the 1.9m (6ft 10in) long recumbent which has two egg-shaped cup-marks (one with a ring around it). The circle stones have been shaped to slope upwards to the recumbent itself. The midpoint of this stone was set in line with the winter soltice sunset viewed in a conspicuous notch in the distant hills; the alignment is good but not precise.
    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 (recalling similar deposits at the Scottish recumbent circle of Loanhead of Daviot).
    About 40m (44yds) to the west of the circle are the remains of two stone-built prehistoric huts joined by a common doorway. The smaller has a cooking place 1.5 x 1.1m (5ft x 3ft 6in) on its eastern side; this was still in use in the 5th century AD. 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.

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