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Loughcrew Ancient Celtic Cairns

Loughcrew Cairns in the Boyne Valley

Dublin
Attractions
History & Politics
Free Stuff
Free

Discover the Ancient Irish Passage Tombs With Your Group

Overview

In a country full of ancient Celtic tombs and ruins, Loughcrew is special: it is the largest complex of megalithic passage tombs in Ireland and also one of the oldest. The tombs are spread out between the four hilltops of Patrickstown, Carnbane East, Carnbane West and Carrickbrack. The two major sites of the complex are simply called Cairn T and Cairn L. There are 30 more recorded cairns at Loughcrew in various states of decay and excavation, both below and above ground. The main tombs contain stunning stone engraving, many of which still cannot be translated.

 

The tombs were discovered by Eugene A. Conewell in 1863, whose claim that there was such a large undiscovered site a mere forty miles from Dublin was initially laughed at. However, he spent the next few years thoroughly exploring the tombs and excavating a large number of cairns. He also established the letter-based naming scheme of the tombs.

 

A special time to visit Loughcrew is during the dawn equinox alignment in Spring and Autumn. On these dates, the rising sun shines through Cairn T, illuminating the backstone.

 

Loughcrew is located about 80km north-west of Dublin. To get there conveniently, we can hire a coach for your group. You can then explore Loughcrew and, if you wish, some other ancient sites in the area. Let us know if you need any suggestions for your itinerary.

 

Pease note, that while access to Loughcrew is free, there is a paid tour groups can take. Contact us and we will book this for you.

 

This attraction is a brilliant part of our package day trip to the Boyne Valley, which also includes other highlights, such as the Hill of Tara.

Useful Information
Opening Hours

Tours of Cairn T take place between 10 am and 5 pm (4 pm September-April)

 

Notes for Leaders

The Hills of Loughcrew can be steep and, in case of rain, slippery. It is recommended to wear appropriate shoes and bring a raincoat to this site.

Duration of Visit

60min to walk to the top of the hill, visit Cairn T and go back down

 

Address

Loughcrew Cairns, Corstown, Oldcastle, Co. Meath

Location
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