Staigue Fort is an ancient ring fort located in a spectacular isolated valley not far from village of Sheem on the Ring of Kerry. It commands incredible sweeping views out across Kenmare Bay to the distant peaks of the Miskish Mountains. This national monument is thought to have been built during the late Iron Age, probably somewhere between 300 a.d and 400 a.d as a defensive stronghold for a local chieftain. It has a diameter of 90 feet, it’s walls are 18 feet high and is surrounded by a 20 foot ditch. This represents a considerable feat in engineering on a built without mortar, using undressed stones. The lintelled doorway leads to an elaborate network of stairways, terraces and corbelled cells in the wall reached by passages. It ranks with Grianán of Ailigh in County Donegal and Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands as one of the three most important early forts in Ireland. Staigue Fort is also attracting the attention of star gazers as this area in southwest Kerry has recently been accredited as an International Dark-Sky Gold Tier Reserve. This is only one of three places on the globe to get the award and the only one in the northern hemisphere – the other 2 being Namibia and New Zealand.
Staigue Fort, Sneem. co.Kerry c.300 a.d (Caiseal Stéig – ‘the fort of the steps/ the windy fort’)emmet
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