Caher/Stone Fort

I was quite excited to finally visit Staigue fort in Kerry, as it ranks amongst the finest examples in Ireland. The Fort is built at the head of a valley 8 kilometres west of Sneem, with superb views of Kenmare Bay and the Beara Peninsula to the south. This caher is built on top of a small hill surrounded by a deep ditch measuring 8 metres in width. The first thing to impress me was the pronounced batter of the walls. They are four metres wide at the bottom tapering to about two metres at the top.

The walls are of dry-stone construction, no mortar being used to hold the undressed stones together. Access to the fort is through a narrow 1.8 metre high double lintel doorway. The fort is 27 metres in diameter and has walls reaching up to 5.5 metres in height. But the most startling thing about the interior of the walls is the X-shaped stairways that give access to the ramparts. There are two small 2 metre high chambers built inside the north and west side of the wall.

There is no actual date as to when the fort was constructed but it is believed to have been built around the late Iron age. There are signs around the fort asking visitors not to climb the wall tops , but sadly these pleas are being ignored.

Situated: Easy, from Sneem travel west on theN70 to Castle Cove. Take a right turn here(sign-posted) follow the signs for 3 kilometres to the small car-park.

Discovery Map 83: V 6101 6332. Last visit July 2011.

Longitude:  10° 0' 55" W

Latitude:  51° 48' 18" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.

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