Guarded by towering Monterey pines, Ballycommane megalithic site is located on a low ridge overlooking Ballycommane river (traditionally called Four Mile Water). Dating back to the Middle to Late Bronze Age (1500-1000 BC), it comprises a boulder-burial and a pair of standing stones. Millennia ago, this was a site of great importance. The megalithic monument was most certainly used as a ritual place and for astronomical observations that allowed the development of a calendar, based on solar and lunar cycles.
Excavated in 1989 under leadership of William O’Brien, now Professor of Archaeology at University College Cork, it is a well-documented site. The monument is open to the public and can be visited during the opening hours of the garden. A path leads past the remaining gable of an old turf house up to the monument.
Thanks to William O’Brien and Nick Hogan, also from UCC, four impressive information panels focussing on Bronze-age megalithic monuments in Co. Cork (Sacred Stones, Boulder Burials, Stone Rows and Ballycommane) are displayed in the Ballycommane Visitor Centre. The panels can also be downloaded here. The Visitor Centre is housed in the Old Piggery, a carefully restored traditional stone building near the site.
Sunrise observed at the Ballycommane boulder-burial on 21 June (summer solstice) at 5:48 a.m.