Ballynoe Stone Circle and the Creative Cows

The Stone Circle

Located about 5km south of Downpatrick is Ballynoe Stone Circle, an impressive structure that was assembled circa 2000BC. The 20th Century BC is also roughly when Stonehenge in the UK was completed so the Ballynoe Stone Circle was in vogue with the hipster trends on the time.

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The structure is approx 33m in diameter, comprising over 50 spaced stones in a circle as one would expect. There are a eight outlying stones varying from a couple of meters to 40m away.

There are many  speculative reasons for these outlying stones with the the most popular theory being the designer should have made the circle 35m in diameter. #onejob

 

The grassy mound in the center is 1.5m high and covers a stone cairn at the core. A cairn is a mound of stones that can simply be a landmark or burial place. This mound is surrounded by a ring of smaller decorative stones.Excavations in the 1930s discovered cists (stone coffins in the ground) on the east and west of the mound containing cremated bones were discovered.

The stone circle has stones of various shapes and sizes and is deceptively low lying as some of the larger ones are easily over 6 feet.

The Cow Trail

The Ballynoe Stone Circle is located a little way from the road and is reached by the charming Ballynoe Cow Trail. These creative cows have created a tree tunnel leading all the way from the road to the stone circle.

These bohemian bovines have even found the time to add some wind chimes along the route.

 

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