Beaghmore Stone Circle – 2

The site was discovered by a local historian George Barnett in the late 1930s during peat cutting when precisely 1,269 stones were uncovered. The site was partially excavated in the four years after the end of the second world war when it was taken into state care. The circles were also excavated in 1965.

Investigation of the site indicates that the area has been occupied since Neolithic times though the stone circles and cairns are attributed to the earlier part of the Bronze Age c. 2,000–1,200 BC. Further stones and cairns may still lie hidden in the adjacent peat.  

There is little doubt Beaghmore marked a focal point for religious and social gatherings. Some archaeologists believe the circles were constructed to reflect the rising of the sun at the solstice, or acted as observatories for particular lunar, solar or stellar events (hence the comet idea for the Dragon’s Teeth stone circle). The alignments of the circles do correlate to movements of the heavenly bodies, three of the rows point to sunrise at the summer solstice, and one of the stone rows is aligned towards moonrise at the same period.

What is unusual is the stone rows have a high and low arrangement where short rows of tall stones run beside much longer rows of small stones. I have found no explanation as to what this could mean. Some of the stone cairns on the site have been found to hold cremated human remains, so it is possible that at least part of the function of the site was for burials.

From my next book about Travels in Northern Ireland and Scotland

Published by Julian Worker

I was born in Leicester. I attended school in Yorkshire and University in Liverpool. I have been to 93 countries and territories including The Balkans and Armenia in 2015, France and Slovakia in 2016, and some of the Greek Islands in 2017. My sense of humour is distilled from The Goons, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. I love being creative in my writing and I love writing about travelling. My next books are a travel book about Greece and a novel inspired by Brexit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: