The Ballynoe Stone circle was not built for the selfie-inclined tourist. The site is found on an average Ulster farm, not unlike that where I grew up. The view is less impressive than that from other prehistoric sites. The people whose final remains were interred in this site were not adamant about having an eternal view that matched with the expectations of a 21st Ulsterman like myself.
To state the obvious, the most apparent feature of this monument is the circle of standing stones. And yet, even with a 33 m in diameter and some of the stones 2m high, the monument is much less impressive in a photograph compared to standing there looking across the plain.
The information sign at the entrance says it may have been originally surrendered by a ditch, and a pair of stones just outside the western edge of the circle could mark an entrance.
For someone with scant knowledge of archeology, certain things are still obvious. The building of this site requires much work and also planning. Hey lads let’s kill ourselves moving massive boulders into yonder field, and then figure out what we will do with them. These were people who only knew one thing – how to work hard. They had to find and make their own food, and had no time and energy to mess around moving boulders. This site was extremely important to this community. It was a site built to last, which it clearly has done. And it has a shape and structure and direction (north-south).
What I could not capture, Yuneechex (on http://www.megalithic.co.uk) captured this extraordinary aerial photo. What you cannot capture on the ground is now apparent here – the symmetry, a structure, and an enormous number of back-breaking large stones.
Several commentators have noted the similarity between Ballynoe and circles at Lough Gur, at Swinside in Cumbria and La Menec in Brittany. The stones would probably have stood much closer and upright to each other.
Ballynoe Stone Circle – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballynoe_Stone_Circle
Ballynoe – http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=657