Rich remains span the centuries, from the Neolithic period portal dolmen tomb on the Schull/Goleen road, down through the Bronze Age, represented by the Altar Tomb, a wedge type, and by the famous Mount Gabriel copper mines on the south east slopes of the mountain.
The ring forts of the Early Christian period were the farmsteads of the time and the best examples are at Rathooragh, Lissacaha, Meenvane and Rathruane. There are fine examples of medieval castles, O’Mahony and O’Driscoll, the dominant clans of the period. What could be better than a day spent exploring the countryside and discovering the magic of the past for yourself?
The Mizen Archaeological Society has published its own journal, “Mizen Journal” and there are other books to read if your interest is aroused. There are many historical reminders of the more recent past. Overlooking Schull Harbour, the ruins of St. Mary’s church, dating from the 16th century, stand in the local cemetery on the Colla road. This old section of the cemetery contains the famine burial area. The Great Famine of 1847-48 hit the Mizen Peninsula with devastating results and this graveyard doubled in size in a single year to receive the victims.
At the east end of Schull are the ruins of the old workhouse, built in 1850 to accommodate the destitute of the post famine years. Nearby is the old West Cork Railway Station, many aspects of which are beautifully preserved, now a residential building. Another fine building, which was the AIB bank from the 1930s until very recently, was built using stone from a dismantled church on Cape Clear Island known as Teampall Gallda.