Euro-North-West Construction Ltd
Bocan Stone Circle
Culdaff, Inishowen, Co. Donegal.
The Bocan Stone Circle contains seven stones. In 1816, there were a total of twelve upright stones. An examination of stone circles in other parts of the country shows that the number of stones was uneven, ranging from seven in some cases to nineteen in others. Two stones mark the entrance and they are usually larger than the rest. Opposite the entrance there are two key stones which are known as axial stones. In some cases markings have been found on them. A line drawn from the entrance to the axial stones is described as the axis and this line is used to find the alignment of the stone circle. The alignment of the Bocan Stone Circle is east-west and the peaks of Sliabh Sneacht and the Three Paps of Jura may have been used to create this imaginary line. Jura is visible on a clear day. Stone Circles were used for burials and evidence of cremation has been discovered where excavation has taken place. Central pits were found where cremation was carried out. A report in 1816 states that graves have been uncovered at the Bocan Stone Circle and a number of burial pots were also discovered. It is understood that these were made of pottery and may have been used for storing cremated bones. Stone Circles are normally found hilltops and in coastal locations. Settlement first took place along the coast and hilltops offered greater security from attack. A number of stone circles have been found close to copper deposits. There are extensive copper deposits close to the Bocan Stone Circle and some Bronze Age peoples may have been engaged in copper mining of a very primitive form. Stone Circles are often found close to tombs and standing stones. Several standing stones are within view of the Bocan Stone Circle and some of them may have been used for purposes of alignment. The stone circle also had an astronomical function and was used to decide when one season began and another ended. When the sun shone directly on certain stones, early farmers knew that one season had ended and another was about to begin.
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