An ancient past
Carrowkeel is an amazing neolithic hilltop passage tomb complex located in the Bricklieve mountains. The cairn complex was built around 3200 - 2400 B.C. and is one of the four main passage tomb cemetaries in Ireland.
It exists out of passage cairns which are identified with letters.
From the car park, you have a nice walk towards the highest point (Carrowkeel). Here you can visit the main cairns which are numbered G,H,K and L.
The first main cairn you pass from the carpark is cairn G. This is a classic Irish passage tomb, consisting of a short passage leading to a central chamber with three equally spaced side chambers. The most interesting feature of this tomb is the roofbox situated above the entrance. The only other known roofbox is the one at Newgrange, but unlike Newgrange this one is aligned to the midsummer sunset.
The next cairn up the hill is cairn H which is more ruined than cairn G.The following cairn is cairn K which has a 7 meter long passage which is orientated to Queen Maeve;s cairn on top of Knocknarea.
Carrowmore Megalithic cemetary
Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is the largest and one of the most important, megalithic sites in Europe. Over 60 tombs have been located by archaeologists. The oldest pre-dates Newgrange by 700 years and is older than the pyramids.
There are 60 recorded monuments of which 30 are visible, one of them being called boulder circles, though several have central dolmens or rudimentary passages. They are considered to be an early type of chambered cairn, or passage grave.
There is a visitor center with an exhibition relating to the site.
Opening times: 24th March - 12th October 2016
Daily 10.00 - 18.00
Last admission at 17.00hrs
Average length of visit: 1.5 hours
Creevykeel is among the finest examples of a full court tomb in Ireland. It dates back to the Neolithic period, 4000 - 2500 B.C..
During the excavation, flint arrow heads, stone axes and other artifacts were discovered.
The cairn is about 50 meters in lenght and the front of the cairn is approx. twenty meters across. The entrance into the court is at the east, and consists of a narrow passage-way lined with upright stones. The court is among the largest of its type in Ireland, measuring 15 m long by 9 m wide. From the court is the entrance to the burial gallery which is divided by upright stones into two chambers and was originally covered by a roof.
Within the court are the remains of kiln which was added in Early christian times by iron smelters.
Deerpark Court Tomb
Deerpark Court Tomb is a large and imposing monument considered by many to be the finest example of a central court tomb in Ireland.
Deerpark Court Tomb is built with rough, limestone slabs, few of which exceed 1m in height. It consists of an oval shaped court, 15m in length, with a pair of twin galleries at the east end and a single gallery opposite these at the west end, which give a total length of 30m. An entrance passage links the court to the edge of the remaining kerb stones and is located on the south side of the monument. Each gallery is divided into two chambers.
Heapstown is located on private land and can not be accessed. Heapstown is up until now unexcavated and is likely to have an unopened chamber. The original cairn was much larger , but a lot of stones have been removed over the years.
It is believed that the cairn is approx. 60m in diameter, a lot of the kerb stones are visible around most of the cairn
The Labby Rock is located on the ridge of Moytura on the east side of Lough Arrow and is located on private land and can not be accessed. This area has a fine selection of megalithic monuments, at least 14 have been recorded by the megalithic survey.
Labby rock is one of the largest dolmens in Ireland, it has a capstone weighing an estimated 70 tons. It is found in the valley just north of the highest part of the ridge of Moytura.