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.  There are six pointed stones remaining: five at 1.4m in height.  The sixth one is a taller rectangular outlier two hundred metres West. [i]

There is a small ancient mound in an ancient field wall on a ridge that affords a dramatic view of Broadhaven Bay plus Rinroe Point at the opposite headland.  There are several large stones that 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.  There is a tale told by Rev. Caesar Outway of the locals tricked into the movement of the stones to search for silver coins in his publication ‘Sketches in Erris and Tyrawly, illustrative of the scenery, antiquities, architectural remains and Manners and Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry’ 1850. Dublin, T. Connolly pages 39 – 42.  There are images of Dooncarton Cirle at this link.[ii]

There are seven stones remaining 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 means  ‘Cartan’s Fort’ a name that is derived from an old Iron Age tribal chieftain called 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.  There are several large standing stones which at one time formed a circle.  This site has a map of Dun Ceartáin nó Glen an Ghad.[v]


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

There is an image of Glengad Stone Circle one may view on this site:

An image of the stone circle may be viewed here:

This article has some interesting information on Glengad:


[i] County Mayo – Selected Monuments ( [assessed 12nd June 2020]

[ii] Dooncarton Stone Circle ( [assessed 12nd June 2020]

[iii] Dooncarton ( [assessed 12nd June 2020]

[iv] Glengad ( [assessed 12nd June 2020]

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


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