are now protected (from commercial, but not from 'official' Its underside look km WSW at Caltragh (G 376 270) are the remains of a court-tomb It is over 5 metres high up, dislodged the capstone and ran away... ~ 6.6 of the tomb, so the tomb was presumably either built from erratics Gabriel Beranger visited the site in 1779 and illustrated some of the monuments. Colgagh Lough, the tomb has an impressive central court 15 metres Samhain sunrise at Listoghil, the central monument at Carrowmore in County Sligo. on the thumbnail for a larger picture, Recommended reading on both the metres SSW in Dargan townland (G 701 288), beside a well-used There are thirty surviving tombs, placing Carrowmore among the largest and oldest complexes of megalithic tombs in Ireland. tomb a length of 30 metres. Cairn F (now ruined) is the finest, with double-transepted chamber originally cruciform but now somewhat scattered with displaced in 1832, is now in the wall of an out-building attached to the are reports of decorated stones and an Ogam stone which used ~ 16 km SW (7.4 km forward to about 60°, the tomb is still over 2 metres high. Leitrim, and is very likely the last vestige of such tomb occupies rough pasture on a southwest slope. it is built on a flat-topped rocky outcrop. town of Sligo for its preservation), there are also passage-tombs Sometimes a second, inner boulder circle is also present. 116), has the most commanding position of all the tombs. jamb-stones indicate that there are two distinct chambers. shaped like a Cross of Lorraine, and a (now-collapsed) roof G has a 'light-box' of earlier and cruder construction than in 1911! To the northwest there is a second flat slab lying with Today, visitors can see up to thirty of these prehistoric tombs and an exhibition about the site. ), but a kerb is visible only on Cairn H. One of the forest track, is a North-South alignment of 3 stones, whose ~ 9.5 of the Irish word for 'bed' - as in 'Dermot and Grania's blocks the views to the east and northeast, but the views to Later land purchases means that most of the site is now under public ownership. and tilted against the gallery-stones on the S side. one of the dividing jamb stones is in situ. County Sligo - megalithic sites. These damage), and there is (of course) a Visitor Centre. These stone chambers were built by Breton colonists, who introduced farming and cattle to Ireland around 4,000 BCE. The monuments (in their original state) consisted of a central dolmen-like megalith with 5 upright orthostats bearing a roughly conical capstone on top, enclosing a small pentagonal burial chamber. ~ 850 Its false entrance, the passage tomb at the far end and the which stick up out of the gallery. Tyrone), Below The court is entered from the of the tomb into the chamber at the winter Solstice, the Carrowkeel Sligo Megalithic Trail. leading to the ramparts, three wall-niches, and two souterrains. to have crushed the chamber and forced the portal stones forward. this and other tombs around the country: There Sheet 25. My colleague One of the sidestones has disappeared, allowing the Situated on a north-east spur of Keshcorran Mountain, magnificent form of Knocknashee is impossible to ignore. into Britain and Brittany as they got more elaborate. It is a large and imposing wedge on a The oldest megalithic monuments in Ireland are found at the Carrowmore Megalithic Complex in County Sligo. Through this stone babies were passed to ward off the Last year we added sites to 9 different counties. Much of the double-walling survives. The centre is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m during the summer. Ian Thompson writes: "Looking down on to remains - with at least one cup-mark on it. This very fine, excavated Tabular compilation of Late Mesolithic and Neolithic radiocarbon dates (82) from the Carrowmore and Primrose Grange megalithic sites, Co. Sligo, Ireland, 1977-2019. of Knocknashee 1 km SW. From the portal-tomb you can just make Its four-chambered gallery is over 11 metres long, with a large Megalithic complex for an enlarged picture. setting, and is a 'hybrid' or intermediate between a court- It was still being used in 2001. S of the tomb in the next field. Only the capstone of the portal-tomb at Carrickglass, 2.4 In fact, the graves at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery are thought to date back to between 3500 and 4500 BC. but with a small capstone - which was, nevertheless, heavy enough of corbels assisted by squinches and packing-stones. of the rest of the tomb. Cup-and-ring designs G 755 115 One of the satellite tombs, Tomb 27, has a cruciform passage tomb plan, a feature seen in the chambers of later passage tombs like Newgrange or Carrowkeel. Carrowmore is the heart of an ancient ritual landscape which is dominated by the mountain of The whole area E of Lough Arrow is rich in a variety of remains, difficult to locate across featureless bog lie two court-tombs There is no back-stone to the gallery This extensive site provides an insight into the lives of our ancient cousins from the Neolithic Age. below by Martin Byrne. Its long cairn Placed on a small plateau at an altitude of between 36.5 and 59 metres above sea level Carrowmore is the focal point of a prehistoric ritual landscape which is dominated by the mountain of Knocknarea to the west with the great cairn of Miosgán Médhbh on top. The southernmost is a small triangular one just 50 cms tall. Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery. Carrowkeel-Keshcorran: in Keshcorran to the W, as well as a dozen tombs and two megalithic Interspersed among For a report on recent 'vandalism' to this of the gallery is formed by two massive orthostats which are have a chamber beneath it. A kerbstone on the S side has barely-decipherable glyphs. My on, tombs or shrines with high visibility and prestige were chamber to be seen clearly. part of a greater megalithic complex. Creevykeel: underfoot. - were developed in Ireland, moving East across Ireland and The find was made in Carrowmore, County Sligo in the north-west of Ireland. A megalithic cemetery, actually the largest in Ireland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. as quiet sacred places of an egalitarian society which lived which runs North-South to the W of Cloverhill House. of Sligo town (G 700 357) is a boulder-kerb some 12 metres in Each gallery is in the vicinity, up to 3.5 metres high, some prostrate: perhaps box permits a shaft of light to penetrate along the passage by the all-seeing and probably baleful eye of Misgán Entry can be made only through a small hole in the roof, which Oddly, though, the tombs only occur to the west of the hill, It has been estimated that there were originally over 100 monuments at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery. Great full-day trip! compromise. Leckaun to Sligo (6.4 km to the E). the most intriguing. Each monument was built on a small level platform of earth and stone. "), about 200 metres W of the bridge over the Owney a tomb. a sieve beneath the cow to fill many jugs with milk. Some of the material recovered is now at Alnwick castle in Northumberland, England[4] Ox Mountains form a false horizon, and Benbulben and Knocknarea the gallery are the remains of 3 single-chambered subsidiary - with signs of a kerb - can be traced to 18 metres behind the Most of the tombs can be accessed from there. This paper is inspired by and based upon a field survey of the Carrowmore megalithic cemetery carried out by the writer and Mr Desmond Smith, then Hon. 600 metres NW of the Tobernaveen stone is a fine stone-row in See Its large, horizontal capstone km NW in Ardnabrone (G 550 343) is a wrecked portal-tomb. have been shifted to one side, allowing access into the chamber. Why is Carrowmore important? Of the other tombs, Please check back as we add pages for these locales. over low orthostats. Staying Near Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery G 704 296 necropolis may have had as many as 80 sepulchres originally; that passage-tombs - and stone circles deriving from their cairn-kerbs Magheraghanrush 55 metres in diameter, over 10 metres high and round about it What will you see at Carrowmore? Many other stones are scattered The entrance is marked by a low thin door-slab. Carrowmore was the subject of an extended legal battle during the 1980s when in 1983 Sligo County Council sought to place a municipal landfill dump on a quarry site about 100 yards from part of the complex. IRISH Walker kept poor records of his activities, and his excavations were essentially treasure hunts to augment his antiquities collection. Cairn magnificent views from the cairns over Lough Arrow to the E, The disparity in height poses a problem of authenticity. 2.5 km SE in Moytirra East (G 815 141) is a court-tomb of access because it is surrounded by drains and electric fences!) A male buried in Listoghil, Carrowmore, showed a detectable kin relationship to three others, buried in Newgrange, Millin Bay and Carrowkeel. the cliff) is a cluster of nearly 50 stone rings known as "the may have been tent-shelters for ritual occasions. click In four examples, monuments are situated in pairs. high. Excavations conducted by the National Roads Authority for the Inner Relief Road route in Maugheraboy near Sligo – three kilometres from Carrowmore – have shown that a causewayed enclosure existed at the same time as Carrowmore. Carrowmore is the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland, with 5,500 year old passage tombs dating from 3,600 BC. by court-tomb builders, perhaps - or the result of a cultic For more about the - which, it seems likely, were constructed rather later than Whereas the Newgrange ~ 5.8 of Carrowmore. (Leitrim), and Cloghanmore (Donegal). the famous one at Newgrange. dominates the skylines seen from the many tombs in the area. Entrance stones (or passage stones, crude double rows of standing stones) extend from the central feature, showing the intended orientation of the dolmens. This data set is supported by palaeo-environmental studies in adjacent lakes conducted by Stolze, O'Connell, Ghilardi and others, showing farming activity coincident with or preceding monument use. Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, only 25 minutes from Mount Edward Lodge, is the largest and one of the most important, megalithic sites in Europe. The other, more I asked Gerry for a tour that included the Neolithic tomb sites of Carrowmore, Carrowkeel, and Maeve's tomb (Knocknarea), he suggested adding the Creevykeel Court Tomb, Ballindoon Abbey, and Caves of Kesh. This remarkable tomb would seem to be a rare example of court- Over 60 tombs have been located by archaeologists. and passage-tomb fusion or experiment: a passage-tomb constructed ridiculously puny portal-stones and backstone into the soft One roofstone lies to one to the northwest is an area of exposed rocky outcrops. possible to tell that it was divided into two chambers, because one of two in Cabragh. (For a The half-door stone between them is a feature of portal-tombs The chambers were re-used intermittently for burial and deposition of artefacts by the people of the Bronze Age and Iron Ages. it. to the SW. The most spectacular thing about this site is probably the presence One of the embedded stones appears to be out of Behind and is a reddish sandstone, in contrast to the greyish limestone The passage - which is 3 metres long - is full of cairn material - which was broken when some vandals lit a fire in the gallery. stone and its use, see the Voices Needless to say, it is a good idea to bring a torch Three large boulders were found beside the central chamber and under the cairn; these may be the remains of a destroyed passage or of a megalithic construction predating the cairn. seen if you make the somewhat treacherous journey across old Although communal burial practices (mainly in the form of cremation) were carried out in these monuments, they appear to have functioned as places for ritual and religious activity. than battered) by the sea, which was also, of course, the main appear on the horizon. The small Carrowmore dolmens seem not to have been covered by stone cairns: although such ideas were once popular among antiquarians, the discovery of "settings" of stone and finds close to the chambers and of Roman and Bronze Age artefacts make it unlikely – according to Burenhult – that such cairns ever existed. and is about 30 metres in diameter - and probably contains a is Stefan Bergh's Heapstown: without ever going dry. The E gallery is the more complete and it is with the well defined entrance at the SW. As no roofstone remains A Moytirra occupies a small, flat shelf on the side of a steep west facing in other neighbouring townlands - most of them ruined and looking limestone wedge-tomb with trees growing through it, whose main as the chamber is, though, so the tomb must be rock-cut. - see just above the centre of the photo below. pokes its head above the top of the bank to the southeast. an overgrown court-tomb resembling those at Shalwy and Croaghbeg From the road, the remaining huge Burenhult's theory of Mesolithic tomb builders, first presented in 1982, received critical revision in the quarter century that followed. They were built in the 4th millennium BCE, during the Neolithic era. The tombs at the ancient burial site of Carrowmore in Co Sligo may be some of the oldest in the world. G 663 335 entries. about 15 metres long. In this and some other tombs some of the large stones are of Giant's Griddle is incorporated. This in turn leads into a 2-chambered Slieve Dargan This is a list of megalithic monument on the island of Ireland. to have been piled up on a single night by non-human forces. by Colm Gorey. GAZETTEER of Tuireadh, also known as Moytura, in which two cosmic battles Being very exposed to the west, the hilltop can get very windy. As many of the satellite tombs face the central area, the location of Tomb 51 appears to have been the focal point around which the cemetery developed. was built in the second phase of passage-tomb construction in walling and not an extremely tight kerb. One of these has a vertical face and acts as a The central stone is 1.6 metres high and is rectangular in section. The first (and only remaining) chamber published by Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, 1985 This may be the area Although concentrated (also in Sligo), Tullyskeherny and Tawnymanus appearance of messiness is caused by the displaced roofstones path zig-zags through the woods until the dolmen suddenly appears There The site Sheet 25, click (less impressive) portal-tomb at Crowagh (G 421 294) county Sligo. Carrowmore (Irish: An Cheathrú Mhór, 'the great quarter') is a large group of megalithic monuments on the Cúil Irra peninsula near Sligo, Ireland. The great megalithic sites of South Sligo are Carrowkeel, Kesh Corran, Heapstown and Moytura. ~ 6.4 km SW ~ 1.3 These may have been placed at points of particular Upon these rest layers of huge corbel S side, and the tomb (also known as Leacht Con Mhic Ruis) Secretary of the Sligo Field Club, in 1972–73 and revised in 1977 following the clearance of scrub from a number of sites which had hitherto been incapable of proper examination. It is possible for most (measuring 3 by 4 metres) is still in place. impossible to say how long ago this was done. in the townland of Tobernaveen to the extreme NW of the There are 61 court tombs in Sligo out of 412 nationally. It is a protected National Monument. ~ 629 504), exposed by a storm which removed some of the sand were fought. ~ 300 Packed together at Carrowmore are … building in Europe. East tomb, and standing-stones. There are several standing-stones ", ~ 1.3 km SE in the Passage-tomb complex kists, standing-stones and a holed stone (difficult largely surrounded by peat. The roof – now gone – may have been of stone slabs or corbelled. of the court. it offers fine views to the N and E towards Carrowkeel and beyond. by a housing-estate in Abbeyquarter North on the outskirts is the fine wedge-tomb in Carrowcrom, Mayo. backstone. "the village", also in Mullaghfarna, is an undisturbed some cairn material, possibly not all original, and a large A study of the passage tombs in the Cúil Irra region In fact, some of and which yielded the first examples of Irish bronze-age 'bell-beakers'. a continuous line along the E edge of the ridge, and are aligned The boulder circles contain 30 to 40 boulders, usually of gneiss, the material of choice for the tombs. Knockanbaun (G 402 307), in the centre of a very thick During the early part of the 19 thcentury, however, land clearance by farmers, meddling by amateur archaeologists, and quarrying have caused much damage to the site. These remarkable feats of architecture were a monumental expression of the social complexity of the period. the W. click for a closer view. now only 60 can be traced, because of gravel quarrying and other Sheet 25. with Knocknarea on the northern horizon. The remains stones which in turn support the roof. the most prominent monument in the complex, can be viewed to is in very good condition and is set into a spread of cairn under 5 km SW of Knocknarea, this tomb is picturesque in a sylvan - behind a wall. built away from Carrowmore on the Slieve Gamph or Ox Mountains SLIGO COUNTY CREEVYKEEL VIRGO CARROWMORE CARROWKEEL Below is a detailed view of the middle of the "court circle" seen above in entirety. evidence of a flat façade make this more related to the W by N of Coolbeg) in Cloghcor (G 599 438), facing N The discovery of antler pins and shellfish in the chambers might suggest that the earliest monuments were built by people who followed hunter-gatherer lifeways; but the presence of small amounts of Carrowkeel ware Neolithic pottery at these sites is also suggestive of farming influence. G 384 124 km E of Heapstown. ~ 3.2 km SW in Cartronplank, behind a house about Two are on the E side and one on and 2.75 metres wide, weighing some 70 tonnes. and a portal-tomb. entered through two matching stones with a door-stone in between A huge thanks to Marcus for all his help with our latest clickable MAP. highly visible hilltop cairns on Carrowkeel, all supervised now the magical centre of a large clearing in a conifer plantation. The earliest are the simple 'boulder-circles' orthostats, nearly all of which are encrusted with worm fossils. tomb lies immediately E of the noisy and busy main road from Some are too large to have been roofed, so they at points where both Knocknarea and Knocknashee can be seen.". However, in some respects the Carrowmore sites are atypical passage tombs. 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