Giants of the Sperrins

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Ceoldán, meaning ‘music-poem’ (from ‘ceol’ meaning music and ‘dán’ meaning poem), kneels within his celestial sanctuary, atop a decorated podium symbolizing a galaxy. Encircling him are poles referencing the elliptical longitudes of the 13 zodiac constellations. With his eyes fixed on the night sky through a disc-like feature resembling ancient stone circles, Ceoldán strives to capture the brilliance of ‘The Seven Sisters’ choir, a star formation that also represents the 7 guardians of Ireland: Oak, apple, hazel, ash, yew, alder, and elder.


The Seven Sisters constellation rises prominently above the southeastern horizon at the start of winter, lingering until late March, aligning with the Samhain festival. This aligns with how early Irish civilizations divided their year based on celestial events.

This Stargazer’s design is a harmonious blend of astronomy and archaeology, situated within the esteemed Dark Sky accredited park and an area of special archaeological significance. The absence of light pollution provides unparalleled views of stars, the moon, and planets. Davagh proudly stands as the 78th Dark Sky Park worldwide with official Dark Sky accreditation. In the realm of archaeology, a total of 27 historic/prehistoric sites and monuments lie within a 3km radius of the site, including stone circles, megalithic tombs, standing stones, and cairns.

 

The broader Sperrins region boasts over 90 stone circles, with the renowned Beaghmore Stone Circles and Cairns located just 2.3km southwest. These Bronze Age ceremonial stone structures consist of seven low stone circles, six of which are paired, along with twelve cairns and ten stone rows. Archaeologists believe these circles were constructed to mark solstices, record celestial events, or serve as observatories for lunar, solar, and stellar occurrences. Three stone rows even align with the solstice sunrise and moonrise.

Ceoldán can be found at the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory, nestled within Davagh Forest at 155 Davagh Road, Omagh BT79 8JQ. Conveniently, parking, restrooms, and additional visitor services are available. For more information, including opening times, please visit the link below:
[Visit OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory]