Moymore : Stone Circle

Grid RefH 711 745
GPSH 71054 74521 (6m)
Longitude6° 54' 0.31" W
Latitude54° 36' 49.79" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMoneymore (17.2 Km)
OS Sheet13
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 8th January 2006

It seems a bit lame to catagorise this site as a stone circle , because there are nine here ... all abutting one another. Unfortunately, the grass around the mainly low stones is too high (and apparently rarely cut) so you can't really see everything.

What you can see very well are two perpendicular rows of stones, which stand around 1m tall. It's not until you walk through the site that you start to notice most of the hidden stones. What a place this would be if it was cleared. The longer of the two rows is around 10m long. The shorter one is about 5m long. Looking closely there may be two other broken rows of similar scale that could form a rectangle. If so then this would be the only megalithic rectangle in Ireland, if not the British Isles!

Unlike Beaghmore (County Tyrone) the circles here are compressed into a small, fenced in area roughly 50m x 20m. A large pile of rocks in one corner suggest that the complex once conatined a lot more and covered a larger area ... wow! There are also two large stones set into one field boundary, so there may have been some more of the large rows in the next field too.

The good & bad news about this visit was that the weather was pretty bad. This meant that visibility was very low and the great views from here weren't available. This means I'll have to go back in the summer!!!

Stones circles, put quite simply, are rings of standing stones, although not all of them are cicular, many being eliptical. Many have definite layout plans and often stone circles in one region share a similar style, e.g. Cork features many axial stones circles, where a recumbent stones faces an apparent entrance into the circle (see Drombeg (County Cork)).

They are the most well known of megalithic monuments and the ones most likely to capture anyone's imagination. Many theories exist about the original purpose of these enigmatic structures, the most popular (and at times most controversial) one is that they were built as astronomical observatories, many having apparent solar alignments with the sunrise and sunsets at the solstices and equinoxes. Lunar and star alignments have also ben noted.

No matter what the exact purpose it is certain that they played a significant role in the ritual or religious lives of the builders. One thing that nearly everyone has in common is that they are located in the most dramatic of places, usually offering unrivalled views.

Quite often other monuments, such as alignments, cairns, boulder burials or outliers, are to be found in close proximity to stone circles.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Stone Circles

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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