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There are two ancient Stone Ring Forts located just north of Cahersiveen, in Co. Kerry, Leacanabuail and Cahergal.
Intriguingly, the two stone forts are only about 400 yards apart which poses the interesting question of why two such imposing structures were built so close together.
In comparison to Cahergal, Leacanabuaile Fort is much more complex in structure,consisting of a single circular building and three square buildings. The vastly thick outer wall is believed to date back as far as the 6th century while the structures that are found within the fort are probably later,dating to the 9th century.
Leacanabuaile is one of only a few Irish Forts to have been excavated and those excavations revealed both Bronze and Iron Age objects suggesting that there was a farming community here from an early date.
Cahergal Stone Ring Fort (interior pictured here) is believed by Archaelogists to have been built between the 9th and 11th centuries and it is an amazing feat of ’dry wall’ construction with a ten foot thick fort wall. The fort’s interior wall is stepped with many terraces or inbuilt stairs which can be climbed allowing you to walk along its wide girth and enjoy a wonderful view. Within the fort, is the remains of a lone beehive hut.
Some people consider that Cahergal seems more like a kind of amphitheatre with tiered seating and a central stage while Leacanabuile seems more like a house, so possibly Cahergal was a place of entertainment or a ’court’ while Leacanabuaile was the clan castle. On the other hand,
they may not both have been occupied at the same time; some people have suggested that Cahergal may have been abandoned and the occupants moved to Leacanabuaile at some point.