Ballynoe Stone Circle is situated close to a village of the same name, south of Downpatrick in County Down. Although it is designated as a stone circle monument there seems to be a lot more going on here as there are several stones dotted around the field that appear to be aligned with different parts of the main circle. During my time doing this website I have come across several places that are truly fascinating and awe inspiring and Ballynoe had this in abundance. Walking around the site I felt so privileged to be in the space and to have it all to myself. A beautiful tree lined path leads down to the field that houses the monument. The circle itself measures thirty five metres in diameter and includes approximately fifty small stones, with a maximum height of 1.8 metres. Inside the circle is a low, partially kerbed mound facing east to west, it is believed that this was added later in the lifetime of the circle. On the eastern end of this mound a burial cist was found containing the burnt bones of an adult male, the western end had a more complex structure divided into three compartments containing the bones of possibly two adult women. Between the mound and the circle several small hollows were discovered containing prehistoric pottery and cremated bone. There are three pairs of stones outside the circle and four stones on the western edge form an entrances about 2 metres wide. The entrance is perfectly aligned with the setting sun on the Spring Equinox. The lay out of the eight or so stones, some that stand over 50 metres from the circle is hugely intriguing, I‘ve included an image from google earth to show this. Its quite amazing that this site is not more well known or visited, in fact there is barely space for two cars to pull in at the entrance to the pathway. I highly recommend a visit to Ballynoe as the place resonates and vibrates an absolute sense of wonder and peace.
GPS: 54.29074, -5.72585