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Loughcrew, near Oldcastle in Co. Meath

Loughcrew

Information reviewed 4th February 2022.

The climb to Loughcrew is very steep and visitors are asked to wear suitable footwear and to be careful.

Thanks to the OPW for this photo of Autumn Equinox sunrise 2019. In the 1980's Martin Brennan discovered that Cairn T receives light from the rising sun on the spring and autumnal equinox - a beam shining down the passageway and illuminating the rock art on the backstone.

Loughcrew near Oldcastle in Co. Meath, aka Sliabh na Cailleach, the Mountains of the Hag / Witch / Wisewoman / Crone.

There is a link between here and Teltown. It is said a hag lived here, she was queen of the Tailteans and the Tailtean games were played at Loughcrew. Several people of noble birth visited every year to join in these games.

Ollamh Follamh was a constant visitor at the Loughcrew hills and when he died his body was cremated and the remains were buried there. King Laoghaire also lived there and a neighbouring townland was called Drumlaoghaire in his honour. Duchas School's collection story.

A large complex of chambered cairns spread across the hilltops many up to 5000 years old.

The tombs are located on three different hills and Cairn T, one of the largest tombs in the complex, is situated on Cairnbane East. Inside this tomb lies a cruciform chamber, a corbelled roof and some of the most beautiful examples of Neolithic art in Ireland. During the Vernal and Autumn Equinox people gather at dawn in Cairn T to watch sunlight enter the chamber and illuminate the inside of the tomb. OPW information on the site managed by them at Loughcrew. Click here for opening times and information for visiting the site.