Sunset over Beaghmore Stone Circles

doublevision

Craigavon, Ireland

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Artist's Description

The area around the Sperrins Mountains in counties Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone is home to a concentration of distinctive sites comprised of multiple stone circles associated with cairns and stone rows. The rings here are of small diameter and the stones themselves are diminutive, most struggling to achieve knee height. As if to compensate for the small size, the rings are comprised of numerous, almost contiguous stones, a count of over forty being usual. The rings are nearly always misshapen, and frequently occur in paired or multiple arrangements, stone rows leading to cairns are also common features. Of the three counties mentioned above, Tyrone is the focus for these monuments, with 80% of its 61 known circles occurring in paired or multiple arrangements, but its most famous example must be the stone circle and row complex at Beaghmore. The circles and rows we see at the site today are thought to date from about 1600 BC, the early Bronze Age, but they are not the earliest evidence of usage of the site. Hearths and deposits of flint tools were discovered and have been carbon dated to 2900-2600BC, in addition, several of the stone rows run over the tumbled walls of field structures which also date from the Neolithic period.

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