Ballynoe (Baile Núadh in Irish) is a small hamlet close to Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. It has existed since 954 AD and has its own stone circle, a Megalithic monument where a 100 ft stone circle encloses an ellipse of stones and a prehistoric burial mound. It has been dated to around 2000 BC.

 

  Introduction to Ballynoe Stone Circle
Ballynoe Stone circle near Downpatrick, probably owes its origin to Neolithic farmers who settled in the area in about 3000 BC. Originally, up to 70 heavy boulders, some 7 ft high, were placed in a ring almost shoulder to shoulder, creating one of the great stone circles of Western Europe. An inner oval of low slabs was later damaged by the construction of a long oval mound, with stone chambers inserted into it. One of these chambers contained the burnt bones of young adults who lived 4000 years ago.
Today the circle is in state care and is signposted from the road 2.5 miles south of Downpatrick.

 

 

 

my pictures   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballynoe, county Down - viewed from the South.


A portalled entrance at the W with stones 2.1 metres apart (marked with the letter A) faces (but is not actually aligned) West - i.e. on the rising and setting sun half-way between midwinter and midsummer (around March 21st). A slightly off-centre axial stone with a bevelled horizontal top edge is just behind the portal stones (behind the letter B).
Directly opposite the Western flat-topped stone is another (below the letter C) not-quite-aligned to the E (on the rising equinoctial sun) and the circle at Swinside in Cumbria -190 kms across the Irish Sea - to which the Ballynoe circle is thought to be twinned.
The Ballynoe circle lies at 54� 17' 35" North.
The Swinside circle is at 54� 16' 56" North.
In between them, on the Isle of Man, lies Ballafayle Long Cairn at 54� 17' 1" North.

On days of good visibility the mountains of Cumbria are visible from the nearest high ground (about 8 kms NE of Ballynoe), as well as the nearer Isle of Man, the peak of whose highest mountain, Sn�fell, is slightly South of the relevant latitude, at 54� 15' 52".
On some days the Isle of Man and Cumbria seem to be half as far away as they actually are.

But the stone circle has no views to the east, and is virtually invisible from all eastern and south-eastern approaches, and there is no view from it either to the nearest prominent megalithic tomb at Slievenagriddle, nor to the significant marker of Sn�fell on the Isle of Man - just as at Swinside in Cumbria there is no view to the west, though the Mountains of Mourne rise dramatically from the sea to the SW.

http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/zBallynoe1.htm

 

view from the South

 

 

 

http://silviahartmann.com/background-tile/6-grass-meadow-tile.php

 

Ballynoe: Stone circle
J 481 404
Sheet 21

4 km S of Downpatrick, a very large circle of over 50 stones up to 1.8 metres high (though many smaller) encloses a space about 35 metres across. It was modelled on the circle at Swinside in Cumbria - which is at exactly the same latitude. 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 outside the circle at varying distances, the nearest pair (of low stones, one overturned) at the W side forming a kind of entrance or portal 2.1 metres wide, originally aligned on the equinoctial setting sun (around March 21st). Behind it is an off-centre axial stone, of distinctive prow-like shape, whose top is a bevelled horizontal. Opposite this portal, facing due E, is another horizontal-edged, prow-shaped stone which may be part of another portal.

click for a slide-show

The Mountains of Mourne to the SW form a fine backdrop to the circle, but do not seem to align significantly either at the autumn equinox nor the winter solstice, though at some point between these days the sun must set in the cunnic gap between the two contiguous highest of the rounded peaks.
Many of the stones in this circle were originally shoulder to shoulder, as at Lough Gur, at Swinside in Cumbria and La Menec in Brittany. They are almost all of silurian shale, but similarly-shaped granite orthostats don't quite mark the cardinal points, and there is one of sandstone at the NE side of the circle.
Various outlying stones have unknown function or significance.

~ About 850 metres ENE in the same townland, in a field to the N of the Grangecam road (J 489 406) is a quartzite block about 1.3 metres high, with elliptical solution-pits(?) similar to many at the stone circle, and on stones at circles in county Wicklow.


~ 7 km NNE is the megalithic kist at Slievenagriddle.

http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/down.htm

http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/down.htm

 

Ballynoe - Stone Circle in Northern Ireland in Co. Down

Ballynoe - Click for hi-res image
Stone Circle in Co. Down

A very large circle of over 50 stones up to 1.8 metres high (though many smaller) encloses a space about 35 metres across. It was built as a counterpart to the circle at Swinside in Cumbria. 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 outside the circle at varying distances, the nearest pair at the W side forming a kind of entrance 2.1 metres wide. Many of the stones in this circle were originally shoulder to shoulder, as at Lough Gur, at Swinside in Cumbria and La Menec in Brittany. A portalled entrance is aligned on the setting sun half-way between midwinter and midsummer (around March 21st), and the setting sun at winter solstice seems to slide down between the Mountains of Mourne which form a fine backdrop to the circle.

~ 7 km NNE is the unexposed megalithic tomb at Slievenagriddle.

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=657

 

Legendary history

The Tuatha Dé were descended from Nemed, leader of a previous wave of inhabitants of Ireland. They came from four northern cities, Falias, Gorias, Murias and Finias, where they acquired their occult skills and attributes. They arrived in Ireland, on or about May 1 (the date of the festival of Beltaine), on dark clouds, although later versions rationalise this by saying they burned their ships to prevent retreat, and the "clouds" were the smoke produced.

Led by their king, Nuada, they fought the First Battle of Magh Tuiredh(Moytura), on the west coast, in which they defeated and displaced the clumsy and ill-armed Fir Bolg, who then inhabited Ireland. Nuada lost an arm in the battle. Since he was no longer perfect, he could not continue as king and was replaced by the half-Fomorian Bres, who turned out to be a tyrant. The physician Dian Cechtreplaced Nuada's arm with a working silver one and he was reinstated as king. However, Nuada was dissatisfied with the replacement so he turned to Dian Cecht's son Miach, who made him a new hand of flesh and blood. Dian Cechtslew his own son out of jealousy.

Because of Nuada's restoration as leader the half-Fomorian Bres complained to his family.

The Tuatha Dé then fought the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredhagainst the Fomorians. Nuada was killed by the Fomorian king Balor's poisonous eye, but Balor was killed by Lugh, who took over as king.

http://www.greatdreams.com/tuatha.htm

 

The image “http://m-a-s-o.narod.ru/celt/nuada.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/43051

 

Ballynoe by tiompan Ballynoe by Ken Williams/ShadowsandStone.com 2006 Ballynoe by Ken Williams/ShadowsandStone.com Ballynoe by Ken Williams/ShadowsandStone.com Ballynoe by tiompan Ballynoe by Nareik Ballynoe by Nareik Ballynoe by Nareik Ballynoe by Nareik Ballynoe by Nareik Ballynoe by greywether Ballynoe by greywether Ballynoe by greywether

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/1048/ballynoe.html#images



I'll take the opportunity to summarize my thoughts on Ballynoe:

The only alignment seems to be to the Mountains of Mourne to the South, down between which the setting sun seems to slide half-way between Autumn equinox and Winter solstice.

As already quoted by CianMacLiam, the long mound obliterated two short-lived 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 (and some strill are)shoulder to shoulder, as at Lough Gur and Castleruddery, at Swinside in Cumbria, and La Menec in Brittany.

The purpose of the several outliers remains enigmatic. They seem significant and semi-random at the same time.

Ballynoe is more or less half-way - a kind of Geomantic Centre - on the E-W line between Swinside in NW England and a point just above Sligo town at 54° 17' North (i.e. N of Carrowmore, but) which is surrounded by prehistoric tombs and circles of various kinds. This line also crosses the Long Cairn of Ballafayle, just North of the significant summit of Snæfell on the Isle of Man.
But Swinside has no view to the W, and Ballynoe has no view to the E.
Nor are Ballynoe's two axial stones are exactly East-West, suggesting that Ballynoe is a sort of 'crazy circle' (nothing quite lines up, everything is slightly askew) - maybe a 'decoy'....or a 'deliberate mistake' of some sort.....?

Nobody seems to go and see the fine quartz outlier (?) or independent stone on the other side of the road to the circle. It's pretty visible, too.

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/forum/?thread=29369&message=361755

 

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/satan.in.the.groin/BALLYNOESTONECIRCLE/photo#map

http://picasaweb.google.com/satan.in.the.groin/BALLYNOESTONECIRCLE

http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/zBallynoe1a.htm