Beltany Stone Circle, Donegal

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Beltany Stone Circle, Donegal, Ireland Beltany Stone Circle, Donegal, Ireland

In Ireland's far north, one of its finest stone circles sits on a low hill with commanding views over the local countryside towards distant ridges.

Beltany stone circle comprises 64 upright stones organised in as close to a percect circle as a highly disturbed ancient bronze age site can be.

The stone circle is made up of larger than typical standing stones for an Irish site, some here are 2.5 metres in height.

Its name suggests that the festival of Bealtaine was celebrated here on the 1st of May. The festival marked the start of summer as it sits halfway between the spring equinox on March 21st and midsummer on June 21st.

Traditionally fires would be lit on hilltops throughout Ireland and sites like Beltany, on a hill overlooking surrounding countryside, would have had local or regional significance.

It's a site that has been disturbed, by quarrying for stone and earth in more recent centuries, and some archaeologists suggest that the stones of Beltany stone circle were originally the kerb stones for a large cairn.

Join me, Panoramic Ireland, to visit and photograph places such as Beltany in Donegal and Dublin Bay.

Last modified on Thursday, 25 April 2024 22:52
Darren McLoughlin

Irishman and International travel photographer in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Echtra Echtra and Eonmusic

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about travel in Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

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