This is the other-worldly stone circle at Ballynoe, near Downpatrick. I discovered it last week while staying for a few days at the wonderful River Mill writer’s retreat in county Down (up north).
To get to the stone circle you follow a path between fields. It goes down through an arcade of hawthorns and other trees.
People have left all sorts of offerings on the branches – to the fairies? to whomever will listen?
The 50 stones in the circle have been standing there for about 4,000 years, mysteriously placed in a rough circle with a Bronze Age burial mound in the middle. It faces the moody Mourne mountains in the distance.
On this day, the sun was setting over the mountains and no-one else was around but a bunch of sheep who were straying in over the crumbled-down stone wall.
Another guest at the Mill that night said “ah aye, there are a few stone circles up where I am in Antrim”.