Grange Stone Circle – Discover the magic
Grange Stone Circle really is a special and magical place. It is the largest stone circle in Ireland – meaning large in terms of circumference. It was built c. 2,200 B.C. after the arrival of the Bronze Age People in Lough Gur. It is a ritual site akin to our churches of the present day and also served as an astronomical calendar.
The stones are of varying sizes, interspersed with tree trunks, forming a large ring. Its near-perfect shape, together with a posthole found in the very centre of the enclosure, indicates that the circle was measured out from a central stake with a rope. The ring is made up of 113 contiguous standing stones, with an internal diameter of approximately 46m.
The entrance stones are matched by a pair of equally impressive slabs on the southwest side, whose tops slope down towards each other to form a V-shape. It has been calculated that these stones and the entranceway were aligned with the sunset on the festival of Samain in early November.
Grange stone circle is unique in most aspects. Its orthostats are contiguous rather than free-standing, and the surrounding bank makes it look more like a form of henge monument than a conventional stone circle.
This embankment and the precise arrangement of orthostats suggest that this site had a ritual purpose. In fact, parallels have been drawn to some of Britain’s ritual henges, such as Stonehenge, that likewise align their features with solar and lunar events. Grange suggests a high degree of social organisation for those who built and utilised it.
Winter and Summer Solstice
On December 21st the Great Grange Stone Circle marks the shortest day of the year. At the Summer Solstice on June 21st people gather at sun rise shortly after 5am to watch the sun rise between the entrance stones.
On the Winter Solstice this process is reversed as people gather at sunset to watch the sun hit the horizon between the v-notch facing out to the side as seen in the photograph here. Sunset takes place at 4.22pm this year. There is no official event.
As always, this OPW maintained freely accessible sacred space is open to those who wish to mark the passing of time. If you do decide to visit, please park only in the allocated bay.
Accessible to the public, information panel at site, there are guided tours available as part of the Lough Gur Tours.
Open all year
30 minutes from Corderry Farm
Time to go discover
A magical place to visit any time of the year, even if you can’t make the Winter and Summer Solstice. Remember, get in touch if you have any questions and we will be happy to help.