A large stone circle near Downpatrick in County Down
Ballynoe is a particularly fine circle set in relatively low-lying farmland and approached by a long sunken lane. The circle has over 50 stones set close together and is very similar to Swinside circle in west Cumbria.
It is also a very complex circle and probably had different phases of development.Inside the circle is a long oval-shaped mound which was found to contain two large cists. A circle of kerb stones surrounds this mound. Another feature is a curving line of six stones set just inside the circle and these are thought to have been the edge of a raised platform area.
Outside the circle are several pairs of stones, some pointing in towards the circle and one pair looks as if it was part of the entrance way.
The stones are all silurian grit, except for two granite boulders which were probably erratics.
There are numerous cupmarks, some of which are the largest I’ve ever seen.