Bere Island Archaeology

There is little documentation of Bere Island’s earliest inhabitants, but monuments such as the Gallán/Standing Stone and the Ardaragh Wedge Tomb are believed to date to around 2000 BC.  The construction of such a massive structure as the wedge tomb, with its two huge capstones, and the placement of the Standing Stone which is over 3 metres in height and is believed to mark the exact centre of the island would point to a high level of skill and competence. 

Lonehort Viking Harbour

Some 1200 years after the construction of the wedge tomb and standing stone, Lonehort Harbour on the south side of Bere Island was  identified by Norse invaders as a safe anchorage for their longboats, who subsequently built a large breakwater at the harbour entrance and a naust (shipyard) for repairing their boats.  Early defence fortifications also include the large promontory fort of Dún Beag on the island’s south side, which is surrounded by sheer cliffs on three sides and the smaller promontory forts of Dooningar which is the nearest point on the island to the mainland and is thought to have been used to guard the entrance to the harbour a third and small promontory fort, Duneen  overlooks Cloughland Strand.