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Beltany Circle

The Mysteries of Beltany Stone Circle

20 August, 2pm - 3pm

Mary Harte

  • Car Park to Beltany Stone Circle, Tops, Raphoe
  • Tops, Raphoe
  • Co. Donegal

Explore the landscape of an ancient people, trace their footsteps over thousands of years and consider the lives of these early farming communities.

Beltany Stone Circle is one of the largest Bronze Age circles in Ireland and is perhaps a much older site dating back to the Neolithic era circa 4000 BC. Join Mary Harte, an historian and archaeologist who has researched this enigmatic monument and written extensively on the possible concepts that inspired an ancient people to fashion and construct the stone monument on Tops Hill. Hear about the folklore, the townland names and the customs that are associated with this monument. Were the Bronze Age people who hid a hoard of 4kg of gold in nearby Tullydonnell on their way to or from Beltany? Where did the people who built this monument come from and what influenced the architecture and design? This is a landscape rich in pre Christian ritual sites and early Christian monastic settlements. Could Colmcille have visited, after all his father, Fedelmidh, is said to have come from the Finn Valley. How long was it before the Druids gave way to the Christian missionaries Eunan, Colmcille's biographer, established a monastery in Raphoe, was that influenced by Beltany?

This monument and its landscape throws up many questions and none of us can truly give the right answers. But we can imagine and enjoy the challenge.

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