"The Giant's Ring" Personal Page by ronaldbarr
The Giant's Ring is a most impressive earthwork, over 200 metres in diameter, surrounded by a bank of gravel and boulders, which has five entrances.
Near the centre is a megalithic chamber with a single capstone, suggesting a Stone Age date of around 3000 B.C. The original purpose of this site was probably as a meeting place or a cult centre.
This enigmatic ancient monument, just a few minutes from Shaw's Bridge, is an ideal place for a day trip and picnic. Little, if anything, is known about this awesome prehistoric 600-feet wide circular earthwork. Some scholars have suggested that it may have been a significant meeting place 2,000 years ago, but the exact purpose of the site remains unclear. Remains from a Stone Age burial were discovered under the dolmen in the centre and during the 18th century the ring was a popular venue for horse races.
Nowadays the Giant's Ring offers superb views of the parkland areas of South Belfast, as well as a purpose-built 2,000 year-old walking circuit around its edge!
This is the chamber formed with stones that are not common to this area. Where did they come from? How did they get there? Why were they brought here? - the Giant's Ring holds many more questions than answers about its creation.
With care, it is possible to crawl inside the chamber at The Giant's Ring. I took this picture in the early evening in October 2004. The heavy stones provided a frame for one of the most striking trees on the circular embankment as the sun was getting low.
I have determined to capture images of the Giant's Ring at various times of the year and at different times of the day in an attempt to communicate a complex of emotional energy.
The long shadow cast in the foreground of a perimeter tree caught my eye as I walked atop the embankment. A unique moment!
This sky over Belfast early on Christmas Day 2004 promises even more falls later in the day.
Crows take to the air distrurbed whilst foraging in the fields surrounding the Giant's Ring
In winter time in south Belfast striking low sunshine, long shadows, blue skies and fresh cool air is not unusual. This is yet another of my photographs of this mysterious stone chamber set close to the centre of the large circular embankment, The sounds you cannot hear are of busy birds and the smells of damp, green vegatation.
Cassie is our family dog and she accompanies me on most of my photographic expeditions. She is a 'Jack Russell Terrier' who was bred and born in County Fermanagh as a family member of a hunting pack. Away from that family she is a perfectly loyal and loving friend. She enjoys the freedom of the open countryside and having astudiously kept her out of my photographs so far I have decided to now give her a special place of her own. She is pictured here watching another dog in the distance at the Giant's Ring.
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