MOANMORE WEST STONE CIRCLE
The Moanmore West Stone Circle near Loughrea in Galway is an ancient site that is not too well-known which adds to the mystery to the monument.
The Moanmore West Stone Circle is a circular arrangement of eight large stones, four of which are still standing and four of which have fallen. The stones are set on a flat-topped mound with a bank around its rim, giving it the characteristics of a saucer barrow. A saucer barrow is a type of burial mound that has a central depression surrounded by a raised rim. The stones are about 2 metres tall and have a similar shape and profile. They are spaced evenly around the circumference of the circle, which has a diameter of about 18 to 22 metres .
The Moanmore West Stone Circle is not dated, but it is likely to belong to the Bronze Age (c. 2500-500 BC), when stone circles were commonly built in Ireland and Britain. Stone circles were used for various purposes, such as ritual, astronomy, burial, or social gatherings. Some stone circles were aligned with the sun, moon, or stars, while others were oriented to the landscape or other monuments.
The Moanmore West Stone Circle may have been used as a burial site, as suggested by the presence of the central barrow. It is possible that the stones were the guards of an important burial, or that they marked the boundary of a sacred space. Alternatively, the stone circle may have had a ceremonial or religious function, as indicated by the access from the south, which could have been an entrance for processions or rites. The stone circle may also have had a symbolic or cosmological meaning, as it could have represented the sun, the moon, or the seasons.
The Moanmore West Stone Circle is a remarkable example of prehistoric architecture and culture. The Moanmore West Stone Circle is a hidden gem in Galway that is testament to the ancient people who built it and used it for their own purposes.
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