Stone Forts
Stone Forts and Ring Forts
Staigue Fort

13 miles from Sneem, just off the main Sneem Waterville road you will find the imposing monument that is Staigue Fort. Staigue Fort is one of the largest and finest ring forts you are likely to see in Ireland. (there are others in relatively close proximity Leacanabuaile in Cahersiveen, Lohar stone fort, and Caherdaniel stone fort). It stands on a low hill, commanding a fine view of Kenmare Bay to the south, and is very impressive in size and stature.

The fort consists of a massive circular rampart surrounded by an external bank. The wall is up to 5.5m (18ft) high and 4m (13ft) thick, surrounding a circular area of 27.4m (90ft) in diameter. Staigue Fort shows great skill and craftsmanship in the area of stone building. The technique of dry-walling so well demonstrated here has a long tradition in Ireland. The survival of so many early structures throughout the Irish countryside is partly due to the mastery of the craft of interlocking stones to achieve total stability, even in large building works like Staigue Fort. One of the most intriguing things about the fort is that there are ten flights of steps, built in an X shape, along the circular internal wall giving access to the top of the rampart.

Dating of this site is difficult but it may have been built during the Celtic period and may possibly have functioned as a tribal centre.