Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Leacanabuaile, stone ring Fort, Co.Kerry

Kerry Ring forts 6
All Images : Canon G1x
Irish ring forts, Co.Kerry
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Leacanabuaile, ring Fort

Sitting on a hill side near Cahersiveen in County Kerry is Leacanabuaile Stone Fort, it is considered one of the best examples of an Irish ring fort.

The name translates to ‘Hillside of the Summer Pasturage’.

This is a magical place and just the kind of prehistory site I love to be in and photograph.

This is the Ireland I have been searching for, this site predates the Irish christian period, and is a period in Irish history that is little covered and has been swallowed up by post christian teaching.

On researching this site I came across this link from Pat Flannery:

Having visited Leacanabuaile ring fort, I feel that there is some credibility to Pats views on Irish history. The site is located only a few fields in from the Kerry coast-line, it is very believable that the area around this ring fort is the landing site for peoples who settled here.

The Milesians

Around 1500 B.C. the Milisians who came from the Middle East and the Ionian sea came to Kerry in Ireland.

The most interesting thing about all these peoples is that they were Ionian people who were seafarers and thrived much, much earlier than the Celts who were totally Continental and not very good seafarers, rather like the Swiss.

The Irish language and customs would seem to support a close affinity with ancient Greece, the Middle East and Persia. Their heroic stories of warriors and chariots for example are very similar.

Spain and Portugal was merely a stepping off point for the sea journey north to Ireland, but scholars have confused the much later Iberian Celts with the Milesians. Apart from the fact that Celts did not occupy any part of Spain or Portugal until long after the Milesians, believing that everybody who came from Spain was Spanish, let alone Celtic, is similar to the belief of many Americans that their Irish ancestors came from County Cork simply because that’s where their ships left from.

Ring forts

Wikipedia description of ring forts : Ring forts

Excavation of Leacanabuaile

An archaeological excavation uncovered iron knives and mill stones suggesting the existence of an early farming community here. Standing atop the outer walls which are up to 3 metres thick, its great to imagine how the fort looked and how people lived in the past.

Image Gallery

Leacanabuile stone fort

Kerry Ring forts 9

Kerry Ring forts 5

Kerry Ring forts 7

Kerry Ring forts 8

Kerry Ring forts 3


Cahergall – ring fort

The area around Leacanabuaile also contains Cahergall – ring fort, an even more impressive fort and I will post about this very soon.

23 responses

  1. “rather like the Swiss.” I laughed out loud when I got to this. My husband’s mother’s family were German speaking Swiss….. it does fit…. them, anyway. hahaha

    August 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

  2. Great post…thank you for the history!

    August 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    • Hello Navery 🙂

      Thank you and as Always, very pleased you likes this post 🙂

      August 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

  3. Hi Nigel,

    Wow, what a terrific post! The layout of the walls looks positively mystical. I love that they’re covered with a blanket of grass (moss?).

    Also amazing is their construction. To lay stone on top of stone, fitting each one just right, then filling in the gaps with smaller stones – all by hand. No Caterpillars or John Deere tractors back then!!

    Yes, it does make sense that like most places, the original peoples settled near the coast. They had to be seafarers, as you said.

    Many Americans, right or wrong, associate Ireland with Celts and all things Celtic, so to imagine that the forefathers came from the mideast, Greece and Iran is just fascinating!!


    August 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    • Hello Sharon

      Thank you, It truly is a magical place and your correct the construction is amazing, Its very hard to find ring fort’s like these ones anywhere else in Ireland and I haven’t seen anything like them before.

      In the fourth image you can see the sea to the left so it is very close to these fields, Clearly there is a history to the country that goes way back before christian time’s and I feel like Pat say’s it has little to do with the Celts or only a part to do with them anyway.

      Thanks for your great comments Sharon 🙂

      August 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

  4. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    I always find these ancient settlement remains fascinating, even the very fact that these stone walls have lasted for thousands of years is amazing.

    Wonder what people of the future will think of today’s buildings.

    August 5, 2013 at 4:23 am

    • Hello Victoria.

      Thank you for your comments 🙂

      Yes, I just love being amongst these old structure’s.

      It would be very interesting to know just what would be left in a few thousand years ?

      August 5, 2013 at 10:43 am

  5. vera ersilia

    Great shots of unusual and interesting places. I love ancient history and there is
    still so much to learn.

    August 5, 2013 at 4:55 am

    • Hello Vera 🙂

      Thank you for commenting !

      Yes I think we have lots still to figure out and a lot about what we have been told just doesn’t add up, to a lot of people. When you read about these places in books it may just about but on visiting it’s usually a very different feeling that your left with !

      August 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

      • vera ersilia

        I read actual history, historical research, archaeology, ethnology, etc. all about ancient civilizations. I am extremely interested in the Celts, the Etruscans, as well as in the dispersal of Ionian people in the seas they navigated – it is entirely possible that they reached Ireland and built in the same manner as they did at home. (But the story that Roman ships reached – of all places – Arizona is pure bullshit. With them you can put alien abductions, and the like. I avoid tourist pamphlets… and new-age.prophets too.)

        August 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm

  6. Interesting history Nigel 🙂

    August 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

  7. Pingback: Cahergall ring stone fort, County Kerry | Nigel borrington

  8. Even though they’re man made, it’s strange just how well they fit into the rest of the land there. I think the covering of grass on the tops of the walls helps that a lot. Also, the layout is so much more organic than something like the straight lines and 90° angles of buildings today. 🙂

    August 7, 2013 at 4:36 am

    • Hello Cavepainter 🙂

      Thats a great point, yes they do fit in very well, maybe they didn’t know how to do corners in the stone they used but It’s a wonderful idea that they wanted to fit into their landscape 🙂

      August 7, 2013 at 11:46 am

  9. 1annecasey

    A stunning gallery, Nigel. You have created another beautiful tribute to Ireland’s ancient Celtic sites, which are so fascinating to visit.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

    • Hello Anne 🙂

      Thank you :), yes after being here some 10 years now, I am just getting to visit them with a really interest. What a magical place they must of found this island !

      August 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

  10. Verra cool. That is all.

    August 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

  11. Wonderful images and information. Might you also have information to share about the Irish at Bobbio Abbey in Italy?

    August 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm

  12. Pingback: Pagan ring forts and passage tombs , From Kerry to kilkenny | Nigel borrington

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