Last Photographed: Wednesday 5th September 2007
Derreenataggart is a stone circle with a diameter of roughly 8.5m. Of an original 15 stones, 8 remain. A stump and a number of fallen and half-buried stones are also likely to belong to the circle. Of the stones that still stand, the portal stone is the tallest, rising to about 2.3 metres. The axial stone - opposite the portal - is wide, at around 2.2 metres, but only about 1.2 metres in height. This gives it a distinctive tooth-like appearance.
Derreenataggart lies on a plateau, looking out towards Bere island over Bantry Bay, about five minutes removed from the fishing port of Castletownbere. Not as remote as its more spectacular Beara cousins, and hemmed in a little by the encroaching field boundaries, this monument nevertheless manages to impress. With the Caha mountains offering a dramatic backdrop to the north, and the waters of Bantry bay just about visible to the south, the circle nestles gently between the two, enjoying a gentle atmosphere of quiet repose.
The few visitors who drift in with the wind seem inclined to respect the site, perhaps humbled by the rough dignity of the stones. They explore briefly, walking with soft steps and whispers, and depart with surprising swiftness. For those of us who feel inclined to loiter, this leaves extended periods of solitude during which the stones can be enjoyed with quiet reflection.