Beehive huts, County Kerry
The Beehive Huts on the Ring of Dingle is a must see. They are on a farmer's land, and they will charge you a small fee, but they are fascinating to see. A must see.
Dry laid stone huts that have survived the test of time... to imagine life in those huts and total commitment to God living in pure humilty is hard to comprehend.
These crazy little structures are scattered around Kerry, but there is a good concentration of them along the Slea Head Drive. Several of them are linked together to form little compounds, with walls to enclose livestock. It's fascinating to walk through these structures and imagine actually making one of these huts your home. It must have been a rugged lifestyle, but perhaps the stunning ocean views were worth it. These huts are said to date back at least to the 12th century AD.
There is a small fee to access the site.
Only a mile or two from the Slea Head B&B, at the tip of the peninsula, is an amazing collection of what is called the Fahan Beehive huts. These stone structures can be either single buildings or larger ones with several rooms, and even underground chambers as we saw on our stroll on the hillside. It is assumed that they are ancient dwellings, although in recent history they have been used for storage purposes. The huts are difficult to date because this technique of rock construction has been used from 3100 BC to as recent as 1950. However, these huts are believed to date from the 1100's when Norman conquerers forced the Irish off the best land and out onto the far reaches of the Dingle Peninsula. We saw these huts from the road and wandered up the farm driveway where we were quickly accosted by the farmer's wife to ask us to pay a modest 1 Irish pound for the privilege of tramping around the hillside amongst the several dwellings. It seems the sheep (2nd photo) in the fields like them too during inclement weather - watch your step inside if you value your shoes! Again, the Blasket Islands visible off-shore.
Driving from Dingle to Dunquin,
you will come across these monastic sites along the peninsula.
Set up on the mountainside, they are made of stone and the walk up to them is somewhat dodgy! its usually steep and there are sheep and cobbles everywhere!
You can go in if you pay a small fee or alternatively you can just view them from the roadside (if you can find somewhere to stop)