Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Cemetery, Sligo

(110 reviews on the web)
Cemetery
Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Cemetery is located in Sligo. Use our Sligo trip itinerary maker to add Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Cemetery and other attractions to your Sligo vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This site is difficult to get to but well worth it for the experience and the views. The cairns are amazing and you wonder how they managed to build such wonderful structures in such a remote location...  more »
  • High on our list of places to visit in Ireland are megalithic/sacred sites and Carrowkeel did not disappoint. It's a bit of a hike; particularly in March weather and signage is sketchy but if you foll...  more »
  • We stopped here on the way to Sligo and unfortunately we did not have enough time to stay and explore as much as we would have liked. I was giving up for the hope while walking all the way up to the m...  more »
Google
  • Couldn't actually find the place. Drove all over someone's farm, following the signs, but never saw the passage tombs here. =(
  • Local people call this 'Little Tibet', and it is an unexpected scenery change in the area. Heather covered limestone moorland mainly with cairn remains from A to P, so 16 of them, plus other ancient and ice age relics. 3 of the ancient stone cairns can be entered, B, G and K. A small person could explore O, but very few visitors explore that one. On a clear day up to 18 counties of Ireland can be viewed from the highest point.
  • The location is probably why much of the megalithic complex remains unspoilt. Access to the site is by a fairly robust climb, so be prepared! Once there, however, the whole site is breathtaking. The monuments themselves are awe-inspiring, some with intact 'light boxes' that are used to align with the solstice sun. The views too are genuinely phenomenal. The site is of especial importance to Irish archaeology and myth (see below): Carrowkeel is a Neolithic passage tomb cemetery it’s name: An Cheathrú Chaol means 'the Narrow Quarter'. C14 dating places the tombs at between 5400 and 5100 years old (3400 to 3100 BC), so that they predate the Pyramids on Egypt's Giza plateau by 500-800 years. An Cheathrú Chaol is one of the big four passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland, set on high ground above Lough Arrow, and the tombs seem to be oriented towards the area of Cuil Irra, Knocknarea and Carrowmore. There are fourteen passage tombs in Carrowkeel. Some can be entered by crawling through a narrow passage. Six more passage tombs are located close by in the Keshcorran complex. A particular type of crude pottery found in passage tombs has been titled Carrowkeel Ware, having first been recorded in the Carrowkeel Monuments. Close to Lough Arrow and just north of Carrowkeel is another, apparently related, giant passage tomb, Heapstown Cairn. This is part of the legendary Moytura, site of battles between the Tuatha Dé Danann, the ancient gods of Ireland, and the demonic Fomorians. The mountain range containing Carrowkeel is called the Bricklieve Mountains (Breac Sliabh), meaning ‘the speckled mountains’ a possible reference to their appearance when more quartz rock survived on the outside of the cairns, causing them to sparkle in the sun. One can only imagine how these would have looked when first constructed....maybe white (like Newgrange) a beacon for miles around.
  • Inspiring place. You can stand inside 5,000 year old tombs that are mostly intact.
  • Absolutely beautiful place - wild and unspoilt, with amazing views.