Ballynoe, county Down - seen from the North-east
J 481 404 - Sheet 21
Nearest town: Downpatrick
A very large circle of over 50 stones up to 1.8 metres high
(though mostly smaller) encloses a space about 35 metres across -
thought to have been built as a counterpart to the beautiful and contemporaneous circle
at Swinside in Cumbria some 190 km due E.
In the E half of the circle is a long low mound which contained large kists at the E and W ends.
This mound obliterated two shortlived cairns built after the circle was constructed,
in what Aubrey Burl describes as "prehistoric bigotry and vandalism [which] ruined this magnificent monument."
Three pairs of stones stand just outside the circle at varying distances,
the small pair at the W side forming a kind of entrance-portal 2.1 metres wide.
Many of the stones in this circle were originally shoulder to shoulder, as at Lough Gur in Limerick,
at Swinside in Cumbria, and La Menec in Brittany.
The purpose of the several outliers (one of which is in the
foreground of this photograph) remains enigmatic.
They seem significant and semi-random at the same time.
For other enigmas of this intriguing circle, click on the picture.
Two photos taken 40 years apart.
Click on the camera for the same view in snow.
Click on the picture for a view from the South.
here to compare the circle at Swinside in Cumbria.