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Established 16/3/2000
Baltray - Inbher Colptha

Baltray: Significant standing stones discoveries

There are two standing stones at Baltray, a coastal village located at the mouth of the River Boyne, a place known in ancient mythology as Inbher Colptha. The stones are situated on the edge of a ridge, overlooking a raised beach towards the sea to the east. There were originally three stones at the site, but now only two are visible. The stones are slabs of shale, set 9 metres apart. Significant astronomical and mythologyical discoveries have been made by Mythical Ireland at Baltray. The first chapter of our book Island of the Setting Sun is devoted to Baltray and its significance to the wider astronomical landscape. See photos from the 2008 solstice sunrise here.

The Baltray standing stones

Star trails and standing stones

An amazing and beautiful image showing what astronomers call "star trails" over the Baltray standing stones made the front cover of the July 2008 issue of Astronomy and Space magazine. The photo was taken by Declan McCormack. See this spectacular image here.

Winter Solstice sunrise 2000

The amazing astronomical alignment of the Baltray stones and Rockabill island was witnessed on December 21st, 2000, during a spectacular sunrise over the Irish Sea. Details and photographs about this remarkable event are presented here.

Winter Solstice Discovery

During a visit to the stones in 1999, it was discovered that the larger of the two stones was oriented towards an island out in the Irish Sea called Rockabill. This led to the revelation that the stone and Rockabill marked the position of sunrise on the Winter Solstice. Read the story of the discovery.

Summer sunset and moonrise

Because the large standing stone marked the position of Winter Solstice sunrise, it also marked the setting position of the sun on Summer Solstice. At certain times of the lunar cycle, the moon's rising position also coincides with that of the Winter Solstice sunrise. The moonrise was observed on July 17th, 2000 at Baltray.

Astronomical mythology

During our research we stumbled upon an ancient story which was told in Skerries relating to Rockabill and the sun god, Balor. This story, we believe, recalls the Baltray-Rockabill solstice event and describes the sun's movement along the horizon until it gets to Rockabill, its furthest rising point. Read the myth here.

An amazing alignment

In July of 2000 we made a startling discovery about a strange alignment between the Baltray stones, a mound near Fourknocks, and Rockabill. The alignment convinced us that the monuments were intended to form part of a vast astronomical device. The story of the amazing discovery can be read here.

Photos of the stones

Sunset at Baltray stones - Pictures of sunset around the time of Summer Solstice, which the large stone at Baltray is aligned to.

Baltray standing stones - General views of the ancient standing stone pair at Inbher Colptha, plus contributions from others.

Moonrise at Rockabill - Details and photos of a unique astronomical event.

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All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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