Glengad Stone Circle

Glengad Stone Circle, North Mayo,_Erris_North_Mayo.jpg

This little circle lies on a lower slope of Barncuille surveying Broad Haven with the cliffs of Rinroe on the promontory of Benwee Head in north Mayo.  Six pointed stones remain: five at 1.4 metres in height.  The sixth one is a taller rectangular outlier two hundred metres west. [i]

A small ancient mound in an ancient field wall on a ridge affords a dramatic view of Broadhaven Bay &  Rinroe Point at the opposite headland.  Several large stones at one time formed a circle. ‘These are ‘fear-gorta’ or ‘hungry men’ stones upon which, if you unwillingly tread, or touch in any way, you are instantly seized with an unassailable hunger which is fatal if not at once satisfied.  Should you climb the mountains with a peasant, and finding some particularly green and sheltered spot, propose to rest.  He will appear frightened, make some excuse, hurry you away and conduct you to another place.  He will then inform you that the first locality was covered with ‘hungry stones,’ and that staying there would have been fatal to both.’  Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland   Woods W. G. 1901 (Longman’s Green, London, New York, Bombay)  Ciortan appeared in the  Ulster Cycle of the Legend of the Táin Bó Flidhas.  A tale told by Rev. Caesar Outway of the locals tricked into the movement of the stones to search for silver coins may be viewed in his Connolly T. 1850 Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, illustrative of the scenery, antiquities, architectural remains and Manners and Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry  (Dublin pages 39-42)  Images of Dooncarton Circle feature at this link. [ii]

Seven stones remain of the circle just outside Dooncarton village in County Mayo.  The stones are situated on a slope that overlooks Broadhaven Bay.  Directly in front of the circle facing north are the cliffs of Rinroe Point.  The tallest stone is 1.2 metres in height. [iii]

The area Glengad Gleann an Ghad or ‘valley of the withes‘ is a Gaeltacht village in the parish of Kilcommon in northwest County of Mayo.  It is also known as Dooncarton Dún Ceartáin that means  ‘Cartan’s Fort’  a name derived from an old Iron Age tribal chieftain Ciortan who was a character that appeared within the Ulster Cycle legend of the Táin Bó Flidhais.   Glengad Circle is situated on Caubeen Mountain, it overlooks Broad Haven Bay, Kilcommon, north Mayo. [iv]

Near to the north east extremity of the area is a small ancient mound.  Several large standing stones at one time formed a circle.  This site has a map of Dun Ceartáin nó Glen an Ghad. [v]

Additional Information

An image of Glengad Stone Circle by Comhan from 2010 may be viewed at this site:,_Erris_North_Mayo.jpg

An image of Glengad stone circle features on this site:

An image may be viewed here:

This article has some interesting information on Glengad:


[i] County Mayo-Selected Monuments ( [Assessed 12th June 2020]

[ii] Dooncarton Stone Circle ( [Assessed 12th June 2020]

[iii] Dooncarton ( [Assessed 12th June 2020]

[iv] Glengad ( [Assessed 12thJune 2020]

[v] Dun Ceartáin ( [Assessed 12th May 2029]


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