Beltany Stone Circle, Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland
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.
In all my journeys across Ireland Beltany Stone Circle holds the most mystery for me. Often I 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.
Yesterday evening I captured this sunset over my favourite standing stones, after only 10 mins I packed my gear away & set it down on the grass. For ages I wandered around & between these standing stones once again investigating each stone for possible clues on their purpose. A few stones have “cup marks” on them which is an ancient form of symbolism. Some have carved edges but during each visit I leave more puzzled than ever???? Obviously this place is stunning looking but I strongly believe, it’s the not knowing & mysteries these stones hold from us that creates a totally different kind of beauty……