Carrowkeel Passage Tombs

Carrowkeel, County Sligo
Carrowkeel, County Sligo

Carrowkeel is a Neolithic passage tomb cemetery in the south of County Sligo. Near Boyle, County Roscommon.

An Cheathrú Chaol in Irish means ‘the Narrow Quarter’.

Circumstantial Carbon 14 dating places the tombs at between 5400 and 5100 years old, so that they predate the Pyramids on Egypt’s Giza plateau by 500-800 years.

Carrowkeel is one of the big four passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland (the other three are Newgrange, Lough Crew, and Carrowmore).

Carrowkeel is set on high ground above Lough Arrow, and the tombs seem to be oriented towards the area of Cuil Irra, Knocknarea and Carrowmore.

There are fourteen passage tombs in Carrowkeel. Some can be entered by crawling through a narrow passage. Six more passage tombs are located close by in the Keshcorran complex. A particular type of crude pottery found in passage tombs has been titled Carrowkeel Ware, having first been recorded in the Carrowkeel Monuments.

Close to Lough Arrow and just north of Carrowkeel is another, apparently related, giant passage tomb, Heapstown Cairn. This is part of the legendary Moytura, site of battles between the Tuatha Dé Danann, the ancient gods of Ireland, and the demonic Fomorians.

Visit Carrowkeel Website