Caiseal Coillte, Cashelkeelty Stone Circle, Lauragh, County Kerry

Just west of the village of Lauragh in County Kerry (on the R571 road) there is an unassuming car park on the edge of a forest.  Oh! What a forest! It’s quiet and cool, the ground is soft , boggy and springy underfoot. It’s so peaceful that even the chatterboxes among us started to talk in whispers.

I initially thought the undergrowth was thick with moss but upon closer inspection I realized the undulating wave of green was a sweeping mass of shamrocks! If you ever wondered where the magical shamrock stories originated, it must have been in a place like this.

Out of the corner of my eye I swear I saw an antlered Green Man peering out at us from behind the trees. (But then again, I have a finely tuned imagination.)

The climb to the moorlands above takes some time. It’s not arduous, but can be tiring so be prepared for a bit of a trek. At the top of the hill the land becomes open moorland and you will find yourself on an ancient trackway known as the “Old Green Road”. It’s now part of the Beara Way Waymarked Trail.  Follow the pathway and enjoy your hike. There will be a few stiles to climb over along the uphill journey, so take your time.

Keep following the path and you will be rewarded by the remains of a series of ancient stone circles and burials.  Although only a few stones are still standing they are still impressive.  The sheer weight of the stones would have taken an incredible amount of manpower to right them. What do they mean? Who is buried there? What kind of rituals took place in this sweeping landscape?

My young daughter was intrigued by the rock formation above. She wondered, if you lifted the centre stone, would there be a burial urn underneath, or would it be a passage way to the Underworld?

There is a sense of isolation here on the rugged part of the trackway. There is also a heart-expanding sense of beauty. The stones are centered with rugged hills as their backdrop, but they face an overwhelming vista stretching for miles over the sea and distant hills. If you ever venture this way try to make time for this hike. Wear comfortable clothes and boots, bring water, a picnic lunch and a sense of wonder.

Where to find Lauragh and the Cashelkeelty Stone Circle:


About Susanne Iles

Contemporary symbolist artist, writer,curator,and geek/nerd girl . Interested in photography, mythology, alchemy,ancient history,science,gaming and magic.
This entry was posted in Beara Peninsula, County Cork, county kerry, Historical Site, Ireland, Lauragh, Ring of Beara, Standing Stone, Stone Circle, Tomb and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Caiseal Coillte, Cashelkeelty Stone Circle, Lauragh, County Kerry

  1. Lovely – both the stones and the forest. It’s too far away to even consider visiting, even if the volcano went away and flights returned to normal. But I can admire your pictures and imagine being there.

  2. Dennis Holland says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for taking time to share this with us. Sitting here in California, it’s great to close my eyes and visualize that I’m back visit that area again.

  3. Thank you so much. So little is mentioned of the Kerry side of the Beara. My family came from this area – Dromaclaurig which is south of your pictures.

  4. Rena says:

    We climed up there with our children ones. It indeed is breathtaking, …the view is.

  5. Pingback: Cuas Pier Caves, Near Ardgroom, County Cork, Ireland | The Ring of Beara Blog

  6. Pingback: Cashelkeelty Stone Circles: Lauragh, Co Kerry | Ireland Travel Kit

  7. Travis says:

    One of my favorite spots in all of Ireland. Been there twice, and look forward to my next visit… The forest is magical, and so are the stone circles and view from the top. Make sure you take time to meander through dead rows of trees at the top and down through the lush meandering forest. Thank you for the great article!

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