Beehive Huts, Dingle
Beehive-huts are a great attraction on Dingle Island, mainly west of Dingle-town : These buildings date back hundreds of years, but their exacte age is unknown. All of these Beehive-huts are situated on private land ! You may enter them , after having payed a small fee of maybe 1-2 Euros. This system of "private museums" in Ireland is quite simple: On one hand it is a steady income for the landowners during the main season.On the other hand the maintenance of these small sights by a museum and an extra person selling tickets would be too expensive.
You better carefully watch your step !!Most of these beehive-huts are situated on meadows with plenty of sheep, who never care a lot, where they powder their noses...
Simply amazing is the very early BeeHive Huts made of dry laid stone, on the Dingle Loop just before Slea Head. You have to pay the local farmer a fee to climb down and look at them, but it sure is worth it. Fabulous construction and historical discovery. He will also give you some paperwork with the facts.
Also Dun Beg Fort. These early ruins are so impressive and really connect you to the history of "How Ireland saved Western Civilization". Besides the fort and huts, the views are spectacular.
These beehive huts or clochans are littered all over the hillside around the Slea Head Drive.
We spotted them up on the hill but couldn't see a way to get to them. We parked up (which is where the photo on my County Kerry introduction page is taken) and walked across the road to investigate.
There were lots of farm buildings and amid them was a gentleman, who looked like he was either the farmer or someone who worked on the farm, sat in a hut at the foot of the path. We only had to pay a few euros each to go up and look and we were only accompanied by a load of sheep when we got up there....
There were thought to be around 400 of these huts at one time, originally for the purposes of habitation when the Normans arrived and pushed the Irish off the good land and out towards the outer edges of the peninsula. Estimates put them at possibly 12th Century.
I was given a leaflet when I got there but this has since gone missing so I am unable to pinpoint the exact location of these particular huts but there are lots.
The Dingle Peninsula website gives some details of beehive huts and other historical attractions.
We were in search for the famous Beehive huts and came across this one. It is a short walk UPHILL to one single hut. It was kinda neat because you can learn all about how they were made and why but I was a little disappointed because I was in search of the famous huts that we see in all the pictures.
The beehive huts, or Clocháns were pretty interesting. They are dry-stone huts built in the middle ages, over 4000 years ago, without mortar. The stones were corbelled, in other works, laid at a slight angle, lower on the outside than on the inside, thus allowing rainwater to run off. It is thought that these structures were built as dwellings for monastic settlements, such as the monks who followed St. Patrick. However, we didn't stay long, as again this was just another €2/person visit to a farmer's field, haha
There are serveral different places to stop to see the beehive huts, I reccommend stopping at 2 if you have the time, and they are open.