The largest and oldest collection of Stone Circles and Dolmens in Ireland
Each month the Moon Mná Diary-Journal will feature an Irish Celtic Sacred Site. The January site is located in County Sligo, one of the earliest landfalls of Neolithic settlers and boasts the largest and oldest collection of Stone Circles and Dolmens in Ireland at Carrowmore, in the Coolrea Peninsula 3km west of Sligo town. The large boulder Circles with central Dolmens are among the earliest Megalithic chambers built in Ireland. Carbon dated red deer antlers, along with cremated human bones show that ritual ceremonies were celebrated here more than 5,800 years ago.
Listoghil is the mighty central limestone Dolmen and the prominent focus of Carrowmore, an immense structure that is roofed with a capstone ‘crown’ weighing six tonnes. It is surrounded by a cluster of ‘Dolmen Circles’, classified as passage tombs by archaeologists. Unlike these uncovered chambers, Listoghil meaning ‘back garden’ in Gaelic, seems to have had a Cairn or covering mound of stones. It is double in size to its sister Cairns which orbit this central heart of the Carrowmore site. Featuring a rare example of Irish Megalithic art outside of the Boyne Valley, the concentric circular carvings on the roof slab are mesmerising to see.
Listoghil looks towards a low saddle-like formation in the Ballygawley Mountains to the East-Southeast. Both the Sun and the Moon rise from this at the start and end of Winter from Samhain through January to Imbolg. Observing the Sunset Full Moonrise over this vast and magical Sacred Site is a breathtaking phenomenon that our Ancestors must have cherished deeply.
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