Saints and Stones: Loughcrew (Loch Craobh)
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The Loughcrew passage tombs complex, dating back to approximately 3500 and 3300 B.C., consists of over 30 mounds and cairns around the Slieve na Caillaigh hills: Carnbane East (where Cairn T, also known as Hag's Cairn, is the centerpiece) and Carnbane West (where Cairn L is located). Another less well preserved cairn is at Patrickstown.

The sites consist of cruciform chambers covered in most instances by a mound. A unique style of megalithic petroglyphs are seen at Loughcrew, including lozenge shapes, leaf shapes, as well as circles. A particularly striking petroglyph, the Equinox Stone, is located at Cairn T.

The illumination of the passage and chamber at the winter solstice sunrise in Newgrange is world famous. Less well known is the equinox illumination at sunrise in Cairn T. The backstone of the chamber is illuminated by a beam of light at sunrise on the spring and autumnal equinoxes.

About Loughcrew (Loch Craobh)

Loughcrew Cairns
Megalithic Portal: Loughcrew Cairn T (Sliabh na Cailli)
Megalithic Portal: Loughcrew Cairn S
Megalithic Portal: Loughcrew Cairn U
Megalithic Portal: Loughcrew Cairn V
Megalithic Portal: Loughcrew Cairn W
Megalithic Ireland: Loughcrew Passage Tombs
Wikipedia: Loughcrew
Wikipedia: Passage Grave

Journey to Loughcrew (Loch Craobh)

The Loughcrew passage tombs are situated on two hills southeast of the town of Oldcastle in County Meath, Ireland down a narrow road with car-parks at the saddle between the hills. From Oldcastle take the R195 to Millbrook. Branch left and then take a right turn (sign-posted) to the car park. A steep path leads up to Carnbane East. For Carnbane West, a little more than a mile from the car park, walk back up the road to a large gate with a standing stone in the field to the right of the gate. From here, walk straight to the Cairns. The passage tombs are usually locked. The key to Loughcrew Cairn T is available at Loughcrew Gardens a little less than two miles from the cairns. The owner of the land on Carnbane West where Cairn L is located is not currently allowing public access to the site.

Ordnance Survey Map (N585775)

Visitors Information

Visitors information for Loughcrew may be found at the Heritage Ireland and the Meath Tourism Loughcrew websites. General tourist information for the area may be found on the County Meath Tourism website.

Additional Photos of Loughcrew (Loch Craobh)

Road Sign for Loughcrew
Descriptive Sign at Parking Lot for Loughcrew Carbane East
Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
The Hag's Chair Outside Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Entrance to Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Lintel Stone, Entrance to Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Entrance Passage, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Stone in Entrance Passage Way, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Stone in Entrance Passage Way, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
The Equinox Stone, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Close-Up of the Equinox Stone, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Artwork on the Ceiling Slab Above the End Recess, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
One of Three Recesses Inside Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
One of Three Recesses Inside Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
One of Three Recesses Inside Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Close-Up of Stone, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Close-Up of Stone, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Close-Up of Stone, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Exit, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Kerbstones, Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Field Marking and Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Rear of Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Cairn S from the Top of Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Cairn W from the Top of Cairn T, Loughcrew Carbane East
Cairn V, Loughcrew Carbane East
Cairn U Stone, Loughcrew Carbane East
Stone Circle in Field Below Loughcrew Carbane East
Loughcrew Carbane West from Loughcrew Carbane East


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