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The Loughcrew cairns - aerial photos
Cairn T

A man standing on the top of Cairn T puts the whole scene on the summit of Carnbane East at Loughcrew into scale. Visible, from left to right, are cairns S, T, U and V.


Carnbane East

Everything looks in miniature from 1500 feet up, but the climb to the peak of Sliabh na Calliagh is arduous nonetheless. Note the walkers on left of photo climbing to the top. In the background is Carrigbrack, the hill between Carnbane East and West.


Carnbane East

The fenced-off area on Carnbane East contains the remains of no fewer than seven cairns, all thought to date to before 3000BC.


Carnbane West

Carnbane West, meanwhile, contains even more remains. In this photo you can see Cairn D (the largest at Loughcrew, and badly damaged during excavations in the 19th century), and Cairns F, G, I, H, J, L & K.


Cairn L

A closer view of Cairn L, which has a chamber aligned on the November and February cross-quarter day sunrises. To the upper left is the well preserved Cairn H, while cairns J and K, also visible, have seen better times.


Cairn D

Cairn D, the largest at Loughcrew, has a large crater in it due to archaeological work in the 1800s. It has a kerb of stones around the base. No chamber was found during the digging, but one is sure to turn up in future archaeological work.


Cairns L H and I

Another view of Cairn L and some of the other cairns on Carnbane West.


Carnbane West

Carnbane West seen from towards the east. Again, these structures look small from the air, but they're far from small on the ground.



A multi-vallate enclosure at Loughcrew, with the remains of another circular fort in the background. The landscape in the Sliabh na Calliagh area is littered with archaeological remains, including monuments such as standing stones and stone circles.


Fort below Carnbane West

A bivallate enclosure beneath Carnbane West, another of the many monuments in the area.


Middle Hill

The hill between Carnbane East and Carnbane West is known as Carrigbrack, possibly meaning "starry rock". It has the remains of one cairn, Cairn M, on its peak.


Stone Circle

Is this a stone circle, or a henge/enclosure? There are many different monument types at Loughcrew.


Carrigbrack mystery circles

What are these mysterious small circles on the slopes of Carrigbrack?


Click here to see the location of the Loughcrew Hills on Google Maps
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All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, Anthony Murphy, 1999-2012
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photos enhanced by Anthony Weir for this CD-ROM