Saints and Stones: Beltany Stone Circle
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Beltany is a Neolithic stone circle dated from ca.1400-800 B.C. and comprises 64 stones around a low earth platform or tumulus, situated at the summit of Tops Hill south of the town of Raphoe. Many of the stones stand at an angle after being disturbed around a hundred years ago. It is estimated that there were originally 80 stones. The ring is 145 feet in diameter.

One observer states that it is possible that Beltany is a transitional ring between late passage-tombs and early stone circles. The circle, substantially older than the Iron Age, also incorporates a tumulus. The tumulus may be the remains of a pillaged cairn, and some theories claim that the whole site should be really classified as a round cairn with the orthostats comprising a kerbing.

The name Beltany recalls the Celtic springtime festival of Bealtaine (the ancient equivalent of May Day ), traditionally associated with the lighting of hilltop fires to regenerate the sun.

The triangular stone to the east-northeast marks the sunrise on May Day and has cup markings on it. A six foot solitary outlier stands 70 feet to the south east.

About Beltany Stone Circle

Ancient Ireland: Beltany Stone Circle
Wikipedia: Beltany Stone Circle
Megalithic Portal: Beltany
Stone Pages: Beltany
Irish Antiquities: Beltany Stone Circle
Wikipedia: Stone Circle

Journey to Beltany Stone Circle

Beltany Stone Circle is located on Tops Hill about two miles south of the town of Raphoe off the minor road that runs south toward Castlefinn in County Donegal, Ireland.

Ordnance Survey Map (C255005)

Visitors Information

Visitors information for Beltany Stone Circle may be found at the geograph.ie website. General tourist information may be found at this website and at the Letterkenny Guide website.

Additional Photos of Beltany Stone Circle

Misspelled Road Sign for Beltany Stone Circle
Descriptive Sign at Beltany Stone Circle
Beltany Stone Circle
Beltany Stone Circle
Large Stones, Beltany Stone Circle
Large Stones, Beltany Stone Circle
Large Stones, Beltany Stone Circle
The Triangular Stone, Beltany Stone Circle
Outlier, Beltany Stone Circle
Possible Cairn Inside the Beltany Stone Circle


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