Beltany Standing Stone Circle, Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland
As by now you may have gathered that I love ‘Beltany Circle’ due to various photos I have shared with you from here over the years. From the hundreds of locations across Ireland that I have captured sunset scenes at, Beltany takes the crown for the most fitting sunset subject. Mainly because these ancient magical stones were placed to align with the sun itself & during sunsets they sometimes cast the most magnificent shadows imaginable ?
For thousands of years the landscape around ‘Raphoe’ has been an important centre of ritual practise, a place of worship to where pre-Christian ancestors came to pay homage to their spiritual rulers such as the Sun & Moon. Near Raphoe on the summit of Beltany Hill stands this Bronze Age stone circle dating back 800 – 1400 BC. Beltany Stone Circle comprises of 64 standing stones although it is thought that there may have been originally 80 stones. One of the stones which is about 2 metres in height stands to the southeast of the circle. It likely had some function related to the pagan ceremonies held in the circle.
I have personally observed that they seem to reflect the colour red in the sky during certain times of year. I often wonder on how & why this monument was constructed even before the invention of the wheel or rope? Why where these stones each weighing tons transported all the way from ‘Barnesmore Gap’ over 25 miles away to be stood on this sacred location? So many questions & to this very day scientists nor archaeologists don’t know the answers?? This ancient monument has held its secrets for over 4000 years & I strongly believe it will hold them for 4000 more… My mind will forever wander over the actual secret functions of Beltany Circle ?