Beltany Stone Circle, Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland
Beltany Stone Circle is one of my all-time favourite locations to visit because of its close proximity but mainly due to the mystery & age surrounding this site. It can sometimes be a task to capture a new perspective at these stones as I normally capture these standing stones in their circular entirety. However yesterday eve I decided to focus more on this lesser seen side of the circle for a little change. Lady luck was also on my side as the sky ignited & it turned out to be one of the finest sunsets of the year 💚
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. 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…