Caherdorgan Cashel
Cathair Deargáin


Cathair Deargáin is a monument of the Ringfort family, but the enclosure, rather than being constructed of earth, is of stone, hence the name ‘Cathair’ (or cashel, in English). It was probably built sometime in the 8th or 9th century AD and would have been the home of a fairly strong farmer and his family. This site has never been excavated.

This monument, which commands an excellent view over the surrounding area, consists of a roughly circular wall, within which are 5 clocháin or circular rooms, built in dry stone, using the corbelling technique. The external surviving height of the wall is most impressive when viewed at the north-west side, where it survives to 2.65m, and the width of the wall here is 2.1m. It is possible that the original height and width may have been even more, making the site extremely defensive, although that would not have been its main purpose. The original entrance is no longer extant, and one enters today over a style. It is probable that this site has been considerably tidied up and re-built over the years, as can be seen in the variety of standards visible in the stonework of the clocháin.

A souterrain (underground passage) was entered via one of the rooms (the southernmost of the 3 conjoined examples), although today it is blocked. These passages would have been used for storage and perhaps to conceal goods or even people, if necessary.

An interesting feature of this site (and of many of the stone-built monuments on the peninsula) is the variety and quality of the lichens growing on the stones, indicators of the purity of the air in the areas in which they are found.

This site is a National Monument and is free to visit. It is situated on the right-hand side of the road approx. 600m beyond Cill Mhaoilchéadair Church, as you head for Dingle. Antiquity No.10 on Dingle Peninsula Map.

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