Park Attractions

The Ringfort

The Ring Fort, used as a fortified dwelling is still impressive some 2000 years after its construction, it is one of the largest Ring Forts in Ireland and one of a number in the Bonane Valley.  The deep perimeter ditch and double earthen embankment (foss) were constructed manually with primitive tools. 

Their circular construction is thought by archaeologists to be for defensive purposes but may have had a spiritual significance.  In later centuries, many superstitions were associated with them and it was considered unlucky to cultivate or interfere with them.  Ring forts are also known as Fairy forts from the long held tradition that they are home to the fairies or "little people"!  

The Stone Circle and Boulder Burial

Here is a fine example of a multiple stone circle with a large central boulder burial. The boulder is propped in place by smaller stones and here were placed the cremated or semi-cremated in a communal burial.

The Stone Circle dating from the Bronze Age, was associated with druidical rituals or used as ceremonial site, as part of an ancient calendar based on the lunar and solar cycles. This Stone Circle is one of the most significant examples of its kind in Ireland as it has eight solar and lunar alignments.

Fualacht Fiadh

A fulacht fiadh is the name given to an ancient cooking pit dating from the Bronze Age.

Fulachta fiadh is generally located beside a source of water, a pit or hole was constructed and filled with clean water.

The water was heated by placing heated stones in it and fresh meat wrapped in straw was boiled in this manner.

Bullaun Stone

A Bullaun Stone is a large rock where a basin or bullaun has been carved out.

Normally, the bullauns face upward and this example is unusual in that the bullaun is on the side of the stone.

It is unclear as to the original purpose for bullaun stones.

Recent research in the Bonane Area indicates that they may have been used to mark astrological alignments.

Standing Stone

Standing Stones are the most numerous megalithic monuments found in Ireland.

There is no definitive theory as to their original purpose. They could have marked boundaries or indeed burial places. They may also have marked astronomical alignments.

There is a fine example of a Standing Stone is to be found in the Bonane Heritage Park.

The Famine Ruin

The small dwelling is typical of the early 19th century when large families were reared in primitive conditions.

The roof would most likely have been thatched. 

There are several of these ruins in the area and adjoining townland of Curragraigue, meaning "old village"  plus field systems to be found within the Park, which indicate it was a once a densely populated area.