Raphoe DonegalMarket town in east Donegal
Raphoe is located in eastern Donegal and is the commercial centre for a rich agricultural hinterland. This land has been inhabited and cultivated for thousands of years and evidence of this can be seen through monuments such as the Beltany Stone Circle, just outside the town.
The stone circle is one of the largest in Ireland with a diameter of 44 metres (165 feet) and made up of more than sixty stones in all. The design of the modern town is traced to the Ulster Plantation of the early 1600s, when the town was granted to English and Scottish settlers.
It was these settlers who laid out the town with the ‘Diamond’ (pictured above) at its centre, in a similar manner to other Plantation towns like Derry and Donegal. The strong religious connections of the town’s history are still in evidence in today through the presence of the Church of Ireland Cathedral, as well as the remains of the ‘Bishop’s Palace’.