Beltony Stone Circle
Beltony Stone Circle Raphoe Reviews
Feb 20, 2008
Near Raphoe stands the fascinating Beltony Stone Circle, the "Stonehenge of Donegal" which, in fact, has been dated as being 200 years older than Stonehenge. So it's clearly worthwhile discovering "Donegal's best kept secret" for yourself. It is reported that Agatha Christie did so in the early 1900s and became a regular visitor to the area.
The name Beltony comes from the Gaelic Baal's 'Tine' derived from the term for the Baal's fire – relating to when a fire was lit in pre-Christian times as part of a May fertility ceremony. This circle, on high ground commanding views in every direction would have been the perfect place for a ceremonial fire.
This Bronze age stone circle consists now of 64 standing stones on a hill due south of Raphoe, although it is believed that originally it had many more. It has a circumference of c. 137 metres, about is approximately one metre high.
This site echoes the Beaghmore circles and ritual landscape in county Tyrone of which I'll write more, later.
The east Donegal landscape is littered with archaeological sites like this and a good Ordinance Survey map will reveal many. If you like history and the ancient world Donegal and one of these maps could make for a fascinating holiday lost in the landscape of the past.
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