Ireland // Tyrone and Fermanagh //

The Beaghmore Stone Circles

Tyrone is peppered with archeological remains: there are more than a thousand standing stones in the Sperrins alone, and the county as a whole boasts numerous chambered graves. The most impressive relics are the Bronze-Age Beaghmore Stone Circles, in the southeast of the Sperrins. From Gortin, take the B46 east onto the A505, from where they’re well signposted up a track three and a half miles north off the road. Although most of the stones on this lonely site are no more than a metre high, the complexity of the ritual they suggest is impressive: there are seven stone circles, ten stone rows and a dozen round cairns (burial mounds, some containing cremated human remains). All of the circles stand in pairs, except for one, which is filled with over eight hundred upright stones, known as the Dragon’s Teeth. The alignments correlate to movements of the sun, moon and stars; two of the rows point to sunrise at the summer solstice.