Dunbeacon Stone Circle, Cork, Ireland

Dunbeacon Stone Circle is situated south east of Durrus on the Mizen Peninsula in West Cork. The circle, eight metres in diameter; consists of eleven stones, six still standing and five fallen slabs, with one stone set in its centre. It is situated on the west side of Mount Corrin. The origin of its name is said to suggest ‘Bechan’s Dun(Fort)’, however I found a couple of entries in the Dúchas Folklore collection describing it as relating to beacon fires that were lit at this site. Some state the fire was to warn those at nearby Dunbeacon castle of an attack by enemies. It could also derive from tricky coast that surrounds that part of Cork and a fire to warn the countless shipwrecks that occurred around Dunmanus Bay, I counted at least five different shipwrecks in the folklore collection relating to Dunbeacon. The stone circle is believed to be aligned with a pair of standing stones, named Coolcoulaghta around 500 metres to its east. Cúil cuallachta is said to mean ‘corner/angle of the colony’ in English. The path to the circle has kindly been marked out well, crossing several stiles before reaching the circle, unfortunately the circle itself has recently been fenced off quite tightly, while I entirely understand the desire to protect the stones from animals it would have benefited greatly by the fence being moved even a few metres further back.

GPS: 51.59571, -9.54906

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