Kenmare Stone Circle

Nestled in the charming heritage town of Kenmare, County Kerry lies the captivating Kenmare Stone Circle. This ancient relic, which exudes an air of mystery and wonder, has captivated the minds of archaeologists, historians, and tourists for centuries.

Join me as we embark on a journey to unravel the enigmatic secrets concealed within this remarkable stone circle. Let’s dive in.

About Kenmare Stone Circle

Information plaque at Kenmare Stone Circle
Information plaque at Kenmare Stone Circle

The Kenmare Stone Circle, thought to be one of the largest stone circles in Kerry, was erected during the Bronze Age, between 2200 and 500 BC. It holds great significance in Ireland’s ancient heritage.

Comprising 13 standing stones & 2 fallen stones arranged in a near-perfect circle, with an additional giant capstone (2m x 1.8m) at its centre, this megalithic architectural marvel showcases the skill and ingenuity of its creators.

The individual stones vary in height, with the tallest towering over two meters.

The boulder burial stone in the centre fits seamlessly into this ancient landscape, adding to the mystique and historical importance of the site.

What was the Purpose of the Stones Circle?

The purpose of the Stones Circle is still debated among archaeologists and historians. Several theories try to explain their significance:

  1. Astronomical Observations: Some experts suggest that the stones were used for astronomical observations. They may have served as markers for celestial events or seasons. During the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the rising sun perfectly aligns with a gap between two Bronze Age stones, casting a beam of light into the heart of the circle. This alignment suggests that the monument held astronomical and calendrical importance for its creators. Unfortunately, now there are all tall evergreen trees around 3 sides of it. The opening is to the east.
  2. Important Event Markers: Another theory proposes that the stones were used as markers for significant events in the community. They could have symbolized important dates or commemorated important achievements. Various theories propose that it may have served as a burial ground or a ceremonial space for religious rituals.
  3. Religious and Ceremonial Purposes: Many scholars believe that the stones had religious or spiritual significance. They might have been used for rituals, ceremonies, or as a sacred gathering place to connect with the divine. According to one such story, these stones were a favored gathering spot for ancient druids who conducted mysterious rituals beneath the moonlit sky.

While the true purpose of the stones remains unknown, their presence in the Kenmare Stone Circle continues to fascinate researchers and visitors alike.

The significance of stone circles.

Stone circles are believed to have had spiritual and energetic properties. These ancient structures have captivated the imagination of people for centuries.

Many believe that stone circles can harness the earth’s natural energies and serve as powerful hubs of energy. They are thought to enhance meditation practices and promote healing.

Visiting stone circles is often seen as a way to connect with ancient traditions and tap into their power. People seek solace and a deeper understanding of the world around them by immersing themselves in these sacred spaces.

Whether you’re a believer in the metaphysical aspects or simply interested in experiencing a piece of history, a visit to the Kenmare Stone Circle can be a truly enlightening and awe-inspiring experience.

Preserving Ireland’s Heritage

The Kenmare Stone Circle is a cherished national monument, protected by stringent preservation laws. Visitors are urged to honor the historical significance of this site by refraining from moving any of the Bronze Age stones.

It is crucial to recognize that these ancient structures are delicate and deserve our utmost care and reverence.

Hawthorn Fairy Tree

The Hawthorn Fairy Tree holds a special place in the hearts of many. This mystical tree has become a beacon of hope and wonder for visitors from near and far. People tie their wishes to this ancient tree.

With a touch of childlike innocence and a sprinkle of belief in magic, visitors tie their hopes and dreams onto the branches, trusting that the fairies who reside there will grant their deepest desires.

The Hawthorn Tree is not just a physical landmark but a place where dreams come alive.

Other Circles can be found in County Kerry.

County Kerry is home to several other stone circles, in addition to the Kenmare. Two notable examples are the Uragh Stone Circle & Bonane Heritage Park Stone Circle.

The stone circles in County Kerry are marvels of ancient engineering, and their significance to the prehistoric people who built them is still a subject of speculation and wonder.

What are the opening hours?

The Kenmare Stone Circle is open from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, seven days a week.

What are the admission charges?

Entrance to Kenmare Stone Circle
Entrance to Kenmare Stone Circle

Visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of €2 to access the Kenmare Stone Circle. If there is no attendant present, a donation box is available at the entrance.

Where is the Mystical Stone Circle?

It is on Market Street just outside the town centre.

Is there a place to park near the stone circle

Yes, there is a dedicated car park facility available near the circle. Visitors can easily find designated parking areas beside the site. It is advisable to follow any parking regulations and be mindful of other visitors when parking. The car park is big enough for two to three buses as well.

Is it wheelchair friendly?

The accessibility of the Kenmare Stone Circle for wheelchair users can vary due to the rugged terrain. Although efforts have been made to enhance wheelchair access, some areas may still present limitations.

Wheelchair accessibility in Kenmare Stone Circle

Notably, there is a gravel path leading up to the Stones, but it is worth mentioning that there is a big incline when approaching the Stones.

How long will you be there?

About half an hour. Remember to make I wish on the hawthorn tree.

In conclusion, the Kenmare Stone Circle is an extraordinary archaeological site that embodies the profound history of Ireland.

With its awe-inspiring structure, mythical legends, celestial alignments, and enigmatic purpose, it continues to pique the interest and fascination of all who venture into its sacred grounds.

By cherishing and safeguarding this significant Bronze Age heritage, we pay homage to our ancestral roots and ensure that future generations can partake in the wonder of this ancient monument

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.