A watercolour painting by CliveOnBeara.
Monuments of The Beara Peninsula:
Beara is one of the great peninsulas situated in the south-west of Ireland.
It is unique in its history and rich in that most vital of all historic documents –
its field monuments.
The Beara Peninsula is a region in which one feels the shaping of history and time, a fitting landscape in which to find the principal monument to the great goddess of the prehistoric world, the shaper of the landscape, the ‘Cailleach Beara’; a landscape in which the most numerous and notable monuments are undoubtedly those of the earliest inhabitants of the area.
High in the fields above Leitrim Cross, overlooking Bantry Bay, a mile or two to the east of Adrigole, stands this small and well preserved wedge grave or ‘cromlech’ – a term commonly used to describe a structure that has one or more stones raised up and resting on other upright stones.
Wedge graves have been called the most enigmatic of the early monuments;
until recently very little had been known about them. Although their exact age
is uncertain, it is thought that they represent the earliest phase of megalithic activity – perhaps dating to the neolithic or stone age – five to six thousand years ago.