History & Culture

Dunbeacon Stone Circle

Visit the only stone circle on the Mizen peninsula. This circle is about 3km south-west of Durrus in a lovely peaceful setting, with Dunmanus Bay to the North, Mount Corrin to the East and Mount Gabriel to the South. Out of twelve stones six are still standing and including the axial but both portals and a central monolith are fallen. It has now been enclosed and incorporated into one of the Sheeps Head Way eastern walking routes.

The Standing Stones of Coolcoulaghta

This prehistoric site combines with the Dunbeacon Stone Circle 400m away to enable observations of the lunistice cycle in all four quadrants, as well as giving complete all year round solar coverage.

The Altar Wedge Tomb

Located at Toormore Bay, on Mizen Peninsula is a short drive or cycle from the Dunbeacon campsite. The megalithic tomb was built here at the end of the Stone Age (ca. 3000 to 2000 BC). The finding of bones suggest that the tomb was a sacred place for many centuries. Although the ancient rites disappeared with the arrival of Christianity, the complex was again used for rituals in the 18th century by the priests who used the capstone of the tomb as an altar, at a time they were forbidden to hold mass in churches.

Bantry Heritage Trails

Bantry Tourist Office runs Guided Heritage Walking Tours around Bantry town every Tuesday and Thursday between June-September. The tours follow the Heritage Loops Walks in the town and depart from the Tourist Office at 11am. Bantry has two heritage trails, marked in blue (1.8km/40 mins) and red (1.3km/30 mins). The routes take in a varied range of stop-offs, ranging from St. Brendan’s Church to Kilkeenagh Burial Ground and Godson’s Folly. You can get a unique insight into Bantry’s interesting past by following the Heritage Trail with information boards erected all around the town.

Bantry Museum

Pop into the Bantry Museum to catch up on local history in the summer months. The Kilnaruane Pillar Stone 3km outside the town is a monument of early Christian times and the town graveyard, once the site of a Franciscan monastery, has a famine cross in memory of the hundreds of victims of the Irish famine.

Bantry History

Bantry is a town full of character, history and remarkable heritage sites. Bantry boasts a long and colourful history and strong association with the sea. It was used over the centuries as a safe haven for seafarers, and was the landing spot for two separate French invasions attempting to free the Irish from British rule, most notably the invasion led by Theobald Wolfe Tone in 1726. Today, a life-sized statue of Wolfe Tone stands at the top of the town square. Find out more at the Tourist Info Office at the square.