|A fitting picture of the Druid's Altar|
The stone circle was originally seventeen evenly spaced stones to form a circle. Drombeg's stones are aligned to make the most westerly stone have a special place on the winter solstice. The sun sets on the solstice and the stone shines in the light. Very special. Like many of the stone circles in Europe most people think that these astronomical alignments in structures served religious purposes. But, the main center of this particular megalithic site, is the Fulacht fiadh.
For those of you that don't speak Irish, a Fulacht fiadh is a typical archeological site in Ireland (and Wales, Scotland and England). In the other places its typically referred to as a burnt mound. They were used for cooking and other things that the early Irish needed a hearth for. The fulacht fiadh is the most common archeological site in Ireland. There are about 4500 sites throughout Ireland. The fulacht fiadh at the Dromberg Stone Circle is just one of 2000 in the County Cork alone. What can I say, the good people of County Cork love to eat.
The Drombeg Stone Circle itself seems to have been used from 945 - 830 BC, which would imply it was built around that time as well. Interestingly, another name for the Drombeg Stone Circle is the Druid's Altar. You know what? It just might have been used by a Druid or two as well. I mean why not, while the stone circle seems to have only been in use for about a hundred and fifteen years or so the fulacht fiadh was in use until the 5th century AD.
Now there's a helluva lot o'stuff (see what I did there - Irish accent in print) out there about the Druids that are flat out not true. The mythology that surrounds them is overblown and a bit too cartoony. There weren't Druids hiding in every foggy night that southern Ireland produces. But, the kitchen at the Druid's Altar was open for business for some 1500 years. The shear odds of a druid passing by the Drombeg Stone Circle and thinking "why not make a bit of snack before disappearing into the otherworld?" The unadulterated statistical odds are in favor of this scenario. There's nothing quite as tasty as Druid Mutton Stew with a side of colcannon to celebrate a foggy winter's eve.