Stone Circles

Stone circles are a type of megalithic monument that are commonly found throughout the archaeological record of Ireland. These circles are characterised by the presence of standing stones, typically made of sandstone or quartz, that are arranged in a circular pattern. Stone circles can range in size from a few metres to over 100 metres in diameter, and they are thought to have served a variety of religious, cultural, and astronomical purposes.

One of the most famous examples of a stone circle in Ireland is the monument at Brú na Bóinne, located in County Meath. This monument consists of a series of concentric stone circles that are surrounded by a ditch and an outer bank. It is believed to have been built during the Neolithic period, and it is thought to have served as a gathering place for communities who lived in the surrounding areas. Another notable stone circle in Ireland is the monument at Drombeg, located in County Cork. This monument consists of 17 standing stones, and it is believed to have been built during the Bronze Age. It is thought to have served as a site for astronomical observations, as well as a place for religious ceremonies and rituals.

In addition to these well-known stone circles, there are many other examples of these monuments throughout Ireland. For instance, the circle at Loughcrew, located in County Meath, consists of a series of standing stones that are believed to have served as astronomical markers. The circle at Carrowmore, located in County Sligo, comprises a series of concentric circles that are thought to have served as a religious gathering place.

Despite their widespread presence in the archaeological record of Ireland, the exact function of stone circles remains unclear. Some researchers have suggested that they were used as astronomical observatories, while others have proposed that they served as religious or cultural gathering places. Regardless of their purpose, however, stone circles are an important part of the cultural heritage of Ireland, and they continue to captivate the imagination of archaeologists and the public alike.

Interactive Map of Stone Circles in the Republic of Ireland