Monday, April 6, 2009

Loughcrew Neolithic Necropolis, County Meath, Ireland

1994: Loughcrew Neolithic Necropolis

My stepsister Delores was aware of my keen interest in archaeology so one overcast and windy Sunday afternoon in October she and her family took me to visit the Loughcrew Neolithic Necropolis in County Meath.

Loughcrew Cairns are a group of Neolithic passage tombs dating to 3000 BC. The tombs are located on three different hills. Cairn T is one of the largest passage tombs, it is located on Cairnbane East and the tomb has a cruciform chamber, corbelled roof and some excellent examples of Neolithic art. Cairn L, another impressive tomb is located on Cairnbane West.

After parking the car we followed the narrow track up the mountain and after about 20 minutes we reached the summit where we found the first Cairn.

After catching our breath we took a minute to absorb the atmosphere of the site, the tombs were majestic, blending in with the landscape and the overcast sky. I was mesmerised by the magic and surreal beauty of the site.

Exploring the various cairns on the site it was easy to understand just why 5000 years ago, our ancestors chose the site. It started to rain quite heavily and the wind was very strong so we took shelter inside one of the tombs. Almost immediately I slipped into a calm and peaceful state of mind where the ambience of my surroundings and the howling wind made me feel at one with the ancients; I was almost sad when the rain stopped and my partners decided to continue with our exploration.

I returned to the site in December 1999 in similar weather conditions to 1994 and once again I was forced to take shelter from the wind and rain inside one of the tombs. As before I experienced a wonderful peace and was able to devise some far-reaching plans for my future.

A truly wonderful experience that shouldn’t be missed by anyone that visits Ireland especially those whom feel a connection with the past.

Loughcrew Neolithic Necropolis is located 3 kilometres East of Oldcastle, off the R163, about 80km northwest of Dublin

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