Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
While less well known than the megalithic structures at Bru na Boinne, Carrowmore is the largest and oldest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland and of great historic interest. The tombs here date from between 4000 and 3500 BC, placing them among the earliest man made structures anywhere in the world.
About 30 of the estimated 60+ tombs at the site are visible. Most of the tombs are ‘Dolman Circles’ – a central dolman enclosed in a 15 meter ring of standing stones, with some passage tombs also. They appear to have held cremated remains, and there is some evidence that they were reused multiple times over the millenia after they were built.
Without a guide to point out the items of interest and their significance a visit to Carrowmore can be a bit disappointing – the tombs are spread over a large area and it is not immediately clear what you are seeing. But one you get an understanding of what happened here and what it means Carrowmore becomes one of the most extraordinary places you will ever visit.
As a bonus this is a beautiful part of the country, and a wonderful place to take photographs.