The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




26/08/2019 – I was pretty excited waking up. Today the plan was a visit to Knocknarea then on to Carrowmore megalithic cemetery. They looked on TMA to be two wow sites. It was misty yesterday so I was a bit worried about the hill having its cloudy hat on again today. A quick peek through the curtains and I was happily greeted by the morning sun. It was a good start.

There’s a good bus service from Sligo to Strandhill (S2 - every hour). A 20 minute journey took us to just north of the big hill along the coast at Mannionstown (Brees Pub). From here there is a great signposted walk up Knocknarea. It’s not a huge gain, maybe around 300 metres. The hill looks pretty great from this side, very steep. The track was good. There is a section of walkway that was hard going but we took our time. It wasn’t a day for rushing. The top of Knocknarea is quite flat but you still have to get close before you see the cairn and then there it is! What can I say about Maeve's cairn, it’s big, very big. It must be a good 10 metres in height. Standing next to it, the cairn just seems to grow. Stone upon stone, taller and wider. Close up my vision was just one of cairn and nothing else. It’s just fantastic.

We circled it once and then walked a little way north to the ruined cairn there. It was easier to take in from here and also the surrounding view which is very good. Luckily it was very quiet on the hill today. It’s a fine place to sit with your sandwiches and a brew and just look out to sea and along the coast. I could have stayed all day.

I liked the stones in the big cairn. There’s a lot of fossils in them, coral maybe, just guessing. Worth mentioning also that there are a lot of signs round the cairn and also on the way up asking folk not to climb the cairn. Seems a reasonable request considering how many people climb Knocknarea each year.

After one last goodbye to big Maeve and a look at the stones to the south we headed down SE towards the carpark on what looks like the main route up. It’s not as steep as the north side. Near the bottom you can loop back round the hill to the start again but we carried on, walking down the quiet roads to our next destination - Carrowmore megalithic cemetery.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
5th September 2019ce
Edited 14th September 2019ce

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