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Queen Medb's Cairn
 

County

Sligo

Coordinates

N 54° 15' 30.3"   W 008° 34' 28.0"

Nearest town

Strandhill

Grid Ref.

G 62613 34553

Map No.

16

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

325

Date of visit

Monday 15 September 2003

GPS Accuracy (m)

8
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The wonderful cairn as it appears at the end of the climbing on the hill.


We would have never imagined that one day we could have been on the top of the Knocknarea! We took 30 minutes to get to the top, with a rise of 200 metres and a distance of about 1450 metres from the car park. The weather was pretty good when we started the climbing and the top of the hill was clearly visible from the car park, but when we got to the top the weather changed and the clouds shrouded us.
The cairn is huge! I think it's over 50 metres in diameter and has a height of at least 10 metres. According to the mythology, the legendary Queen Medb is buried under the cairn, but since it has never been excavated, it's impossible to say if this is true, nor is it possible to say what kind of tomb is under that cairn.
The sense of mystic is overwhelming and the visitors feel the urge to treat the place with respect. At least this is the sense we had in this place.
Around the cairn some other smaller tombs are visible, but they are in a very bad condition.
What attracted my attention was an almost cubic stone about 5 metres south of the cairn, and this is the spot where I took the coordinates.

UPDATE: June 2nd, 2011 - Second visit to this sacred place. I took some new photos all around. The first 5 photos in this page are from the old visit in 2003, the other photos have been taken in 2011.


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