Knocknakilla Stone Circle – Kerry, Ireland - Atlas Obscura

Knocknakilla Stone Circle

Just another ancient, mysterious Irish stone circle. 


Knocknakilla Stone Circle is a small prehistoric complex consisting of a stone circle, two standing stones, and a cairn.

Probably erected in the Middle or Late Bronze Age (1600 - 1800 BCE), they were likely used for rituals or ceremonies. Typical of these types of monuments, the alignments of the standing stones and circle were probably influenced by observations of solar and lunar cycles. 

The stone circle has five large stones, although two have collapsed. The entrance to the circle faces northeast. In 1931, the interior of the circle was excavated and was found to be paved with stones, with quartz pebbles concentrated around the entrance, but no artifacts were found. The two standing stones–one of which fell about 50 years ago–are to the southwest of the circle. The cairn is just east of the stone circle and is defined by a circle of eleven stones.

Knocknakilla is derived from the Gaelic “Cnoc na Cille,” which means “Hill of the Church.”

Know Before You Go

The site is located on the slopes of Mushera (or Musherabeg) Mountain just outside Millstreet Country Park, about eleven kilometers from Millstreet, County Cork. If you follow signs from Millstreet toward Millstreet Country Park, go just past the park entrance and turn right. About 300 meters down this road, the entrance to the site is on the left.

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