History & Archaeology

433 Kilmalkedar-oghum-stoneThere is no other landscape in western Europe with the density and variety of archaeological monuments as the Dingle Peninsula. This mountainous finger of land which juts into the Atlantic Ocean has supported various tribes and populations for almost 6,000 years. Because of the peninsula's remote location, and lack of specialised agriculture, there is a remarkable preservation of over 2,000 monuments.
It is impossible to visit the Dingle Peninsula and not be impressed by its archaeological heritage. When one combines each site's folklore and mythology, which have been passed orally from generation to generation through the Irish language, one can begin to understand how unique and complex is the history of this peninsula.



 The Dingle Peninsula - 6,000 Years of History

 For a list of archaeological sites



013BeehiveHutx  416cathairdeargainx 

Some of the archaeological sites on the peninsula: top right: clocháin or "beehive huts" at Fán near Slea Head, top left: Caherdorgan Stone Fort or Cashel' bottom left: stone alignment at Ardamore near Lispole, bottom right: detail of the Romanesque church at Kilmalkedar.

Museum Chorca Dhuibhne 

The museum is situated in the old schoolhouse in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh (Ballyferriter on some maps), 13km (8 miles) west of the fishing port of Dingle on the Wild Atlantic Way, and the Slea Head Route, both spectacular driving routes.

The museum has prepared a series of walking guides, with details of a number of heritage walks which can be downloaded from this page.


 Gallarus Oratory Visitor Centre

Gallarus Oratory Visitor Centre is located alongside Gallarus Oratory. The centre offers visitors the opportunity to explore Gallarus Oratory and also see a audio visual display of the surrounding area. There is a shop offering souvenirs and some refreshments located in the main centre.



 The Dunbeg Promontory Fort and Visitor Centre

This small but impressive fort is located on a sheer cliff promontory which projects south into Dingle Bay at the base of Mount Eagle. Begun in the late Bronze Age, 800 BC, and was used right through the Celtic period up to the 10th century. Even the excavation results did not reveal conclusively what the site was used for; it may have been defensive, or used for ritual purposes, or it may simply have just been lived in. At the Dunbeg Fort Visitor Centre food is available all day: teas, coffees, sandwiches, soups etc.



Tags: Archaeology, History, Mesolithic, monuments, castles


Travel Information

Read our guide about

Transport on the Dingle Peninsula