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Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex

<b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by CianMcLiamImage © Ken Williams/ShadowsandStone.com 2008
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Carnaweeleen Passage Grave
7 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairns C and D Passage Grave
3 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn B Passage Grave
7 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn E Court Tomb
4 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn F Passage Grave
21 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn G Passage Grave
10 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn H Passage Grave
20 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn K Passage Grave
3 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn L Passage Grave
3 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn M Passage Grave
Carrowkeel - Cairn N Passage Grave
6 posts
Carrowkeel - Cairn O Passage Grave
14 posts
Caves of Kesh Cave / Rock Shelter
3 posts
Doonaveeragh - Cairn P Cairn(s)
11 posts
Kesh Corran Cairn Cairn(s)
Mullaghfarna Court Tomb
14 posts
Mullaghfarna Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork

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<b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by costaexpress <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex</b>Posted by megaman

Fieldnotes

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27/08/2019 – I really wanted to get to Carrowkeel. Looks like it had everything. Quality cairns, high on a hillside in a top location. After seeing rayner’s sunset photos on here a few months back I knew I had to visit.

It was our last day in Sligo so it felt a bit now or never. Unfortunately the weather forecast was grim. We toyed with not going but we’d have got wet anywhere today. Might as well be on a hill with great cairns.

I worried that without a car this one might be tricky to get to. Turned out fine. It’s close to the main road from Sligo to Dublin so there’s a good bus. We caught the 8.00 from Sligo bus station to Castlebaldwin. Didn’t take long and we were walking by 8.30. There’s buses back from here in the afternoon every couple of hours so there was no need to rush. Nice to not have to treat the day like a raid. Worth mentioning the petrol station in Castlebaldwin has a great cafe/shop so ideal for waiting for any bus back to Sligo.

It’s a 3 mile walk from Castlebaldwin to Carrowkeel. Very quiet country roads and more enjoyable than I thought it would be. The rain was pretty terrible. Fell for most of the day. The worst weather day I’ve had out for many a year. No wind which helped and we did stay quite cheery powered up by chocolate and Tayto crisps (I love Taytos, very hard to find in Scotland).

The final approach is a gentle incline up an ever decreasing quality of road. You can drive up to the top. I’d love to know if any TMAers have braved it? There's a newish carpark at the bottom. Much better to start here as the walk up is nice and your car will thank you for it. The landscape here is wonderful and my favourite on our trip. The road takes you between steep limestone ridges. Huge cairns could be seen on the tops through the mist and rain. The road bends back left and then up and around to near the top. From here it’s a short climb to the first of the cairns.

Cairn G – Not the most exciting of names but it’s good, very good. As we approached, it appeared from out of the mist to greet us. The excitement upon seeing the entrance for the first time, nearly too much. We had stepped into a megalithic wonderland. Suddenly the crap weather was working for us and the rain and low clouds created a vibe to the place that was amazing. A feeling of quiet wild loneliness, just us and the cairns on the hillside. Like we had entered a different world. Rucksacks off and a quick shimmy through the entrance, we entered the short passage and then the chamber. Standing up in the high roofed centre, a relief to be away from the rain. Dark but with no need of our headtorches, peacefully away from the outside world, what a contrast! Great chamber and recesses. Loved the orthostats.

Cairn K – After leaving cairn G and having a look at cairn H, we made our way to the high point of the hill and Cairn K. The passage is longer on this one. A bit of a hands and knees job. The cruciform chamber just wow. Great corbelled ceiling. A few cracked lintels so best not to climb the outside.

The rain stopped for a short while so we plonked ourselves down next to K to have our sandwiches. What a place. No views but because of the mist it felt like this cairn filled landscape could have gone on forever. The rain came back hard and though I’d have loved to have explored the hillside more, it felt best to leave it for another time. I was so happy with the day so far, more wasn’t really needed.

We walked back to Castlebaldwin and the bus, very wet but very happy. A great day out and one of my favourite megalithic days ever I think.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
6th September 2019ce
Edited 7th September 2019ce

Oh Carrowkeel... word fails me, but I guess I should try and describe something of what it meant to visit this astonishing prehistoric ritual complex. For me Carrowkeel is quite simply the finest of the major Irish megalithic cemeteries. Sure, it lacks the connoisseur's art of the Bru na Boinne tombs and Loughcrew - and is of somewhat rougher construction, it has to be said - and Carrowmore is simply mind-boggling in extent. But for a 'mountain-head' like me, Carrowkeel really does have it all, the tombs perched upon the Bricklieve Mountains (Breac Shliabh, or 'speckled mountains') overlooking the gorgeous Loch Arrow and possessing a magnificent vista towards the one and only Knocknarea.

Leave the main N4 Sligo road at Castlebaldwin and follow the 'historical trail' (a bit of a misnomer, obviously, since this is a journey into prehistory) roughly southwards, with the cairn-topped Kesh Corran rearing up to your right. The road surface becomes progressively 'rougher', as if to reflect the surrounding landscape, with high limestone cliff faces curiously reminiscent of Northern England, until a sign proclaims that the final kilometer to the cairns is indeed passable by car. Hmm. Perhaps it's something to do with me being a somewhat cynical Anglo Saxon/Celt/and-whatever-else-hybrid, but we decide to walk nonetheless, fearing a touch o' the Blarney stone. Wisely as it transpires, too, although the Aussie kangarooing (ho! ho!) past us in his hire car would probably have disagreed whilst exclaiming 'where's the cairns, dude!'. Last seen careering downhill towards Loch Arrow...... he at least gave us a laugh and, with large cairns seemingly crowning every ridge, may well have stopped me freaking out altogether with a little light relief. No worries, dude.

The very rough approach track terminates at a turning-area-cum-car-park (ha!) from where a short climb brings us to the first monument. To state that the prosaically named 'Cairn G' is a 'good way to begin' is putting it very mildly indeed, the well preserved cairn covering a magnificent cruciform chamber, its solid roof slabs supported upon eight (I think) orthostats. There's more however, for the chambered tomb possesses a 'Newgrange-style' letter-box which apparently allows the setting summer solstice sun to penetrate the chamber on 21st June. This is obviously the reverse of the world famous arrangement at Newgrange, so elevating this tomb into the premier league of Irish passage graves in the process. Oh to be here when that happens!

The next cairn uphill (Cairn H) has sadly collapsed into the chamber, although I can attest it is still possible to crawl down the passageway. Well, a Gladman's gotta do what a Gladman's gotta do, as they say. Cairn K, however, crowns the summit of the northern Bricklieves and is a real beauty, the cruciform chamber within exceedingly well preserved and reached by a long, low entrance passage akin to the great Orcadian tombs. The three pentagonal side chambers are exquiste, the corbelled roof likewise. And if I'm not very much mistaken.... the passage is aligned upon Maeve's Cairn surmounting distant Knocknarea! It's all too much, it really is. No, seriously, because as well as a large cist to the east of the tomb, the ruined 'Cairn L' to the west, and a nearby settlement (no doubt the home of the people who used these tombs?), cairns seem to crown every horizon. As old Irish comedian Frank Carson used to say.... 'And there's more'. Much, much more at Carrowkeel.

Sadly I must leave and who knows, I may never return? But no matter. Carrowkeel will always have me in thrall.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
16th March 2010ce
Edited 16th March 2010ce

Latest posts for Carrowkeel-Keshcorran Complex

Showing 1-10 of 126 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Carrowkeel - Cairn G (Passage Grave) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn G</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
6th September 2019ce

Carrowkeel - Cairn H (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn H</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn H</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
6th September 2019ce

Carrowkeel - Cairn K (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn K</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn K</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn K</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
6th September 2019ce

Carrowkeel - Cairn L (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn L</b>Posted by thelonious thelonious Posted by thelonious
6th September 2019ce

Carrowkeel - Cairn K (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn K</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st July 2019ce

Carrowkeel - Cairn H (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn H</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st July 2019ce

Carrowkeel - Cairn G (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Carrowkeel - Cairn G</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st July 2019ce
Showing 1-10 of 126 posts. Most recent first | Next 10