Beltany Stone Circle

To the southwest of the Ulster city of Derry in County of Donegal, near the town of Raphoe, is a Neolithic Celtic monument known as the Beltany Stone Circle.  The Beltany Stone Circle is estimated to have been constructed approximately 5000 years ago based on recent archeological research funded by the Irish Heritage Council.  Dating Beltany from about 3000 BC makes this monument older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids (some published sources conversely date the construction of the stone circle at between 1300 and 800 BC).

As the name implies, the Beltany Stone Circle is thought to be associated with the Celtic Feast day of Beltane, a Festival of Fire and Fertility. Supporting the connection between Beltane, the  third Feast Day of the Celtic year, and the Neolithic Stone Circle at Beltany is the fact that two of the stones in the circle have been calculated to align with the sunrise at Beltane.

This is a Neolithic stone circle of about 147 feet in diameter made up of in excess of sixty remaining stones.

Getting there

It is located southwest from Derry on the A40 and R236 to Raphoe. The site is about two miles south from Raphoe on the road to Castlefinn on Tops Hill.

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