Travel back in time and throw yourself into the prehistoric past at Beaghmore Stone Circles in Cookstown. Discovered during peat cutting in the 1940s, the site consists of 7 stone circles. All of the rings are associated with cairns and a stone row runs towards these cairns. It is possible that Neolithic occupation and cultivation preceded the erection of burial cairns and ceremonial circles and alignments: some irregular lines and heaps of boulders resembling field fences or field clearance may predate the ritual structures. At some stage, peat started to form over the site, and it may conceivably be that the cairns and rows were erected in a futile propitiatory attempt to restore fertility to the soil by attracting back the fading sun.
How easy is it to access the Beaghmore Stone Circles?
There’s a strange feeling in the air at this incredible, unique site; a complex of early Bronze Age megalithic features, stone circles and cairns. Why are the stones there? What do they mean? Who even put them there? See if you can work it out! The name comes from the Irish ‘a Bheitheach Mhór’, meaning ‘big place of birch trees’; a name that reflects the fact that the area was woodland before being cleared by Neolithic farmers. Excavation has revealed that the site overlays a Neolithic cultivation site, and it is thought that the stones may have been erected in response to deteriorating soil fertility and the encroachment of peat.
- The site is free to visit
- Always open and accessible