explore & do

Loughcrew Cairns & Garden


Loughcrew, with a concentration of around 30 passage tombs, is one of the most important prehistoric cemeteries in Ireland

 

The Loughcrew complex is a megalithic cemetery containing around 30 passage tombs and is situated around the summit of three hills near the town ofOldcastle, Co. Meath. Nearby are the restored 17th Century Loughcrew Gardens which also holds the key to the Loughcrew Cairns site.

 

Loughcrew, possibly the oldest cemetery in the world, tells ofIreland’s neolithic cultures, shrouded in myth and mystery. One legend has it that the so-called burial mounds were created by a witches flying overhead and dropping pebbles on the landscape. Sounds hard to believe but who’s to say otherwise? The tombs are located on three different hills. The largest of the three Cairn T has a vernal and Autumunal Equinox which is when the chamber becomes illuminated with sunlight.

 

The passage tomb at Loughcrew: magnificent, mighty and virtually unknown. This massive prehistoric mound is nothing less than the Irish equivalent ofEgypt’s pyramids; both witnessed the passage of the dead from this world to the next. As with the pyramids, Loughcrew continues to perplex and amaze; the burial complex in Meath possibly more so - it predates its desert cousins by 2000 years.

 

LoughcrewGardensare generally open March to October every year. The site is full of history, beauty, fantasy, and atmosphere making the Gardens a magical experience. The ancient Yew Walk, medieval moote and St. Oliver Plunkett’s family church create a spirit of history with a ‘grotesque’ grotto with tortured pillars guarding a rockery of fantasy tree fairy sculptures. With something for all the family, the hidden story of Alice In Wonderland and a small playground keep the younger visitors happy, while the insect walk with giant bugs and hidden reptiles appeals to the older children. The canal, ponds, the water mill and cascades all create a stunning atmosphere.

 

Location

East of Oldcastle off the R163

 

Open on Request all year round: Key toCairns kept at Loughcrew House & Gardens. Call +353 49 854 1356

 

Guided Service: May 27th - Start Sept Daily 10.00-18.00 (2010 opening hours)

Last admission to Cairn T 45 mins before closing

 

Average length of visit: 1 hour

  

Details

Address: Corstown, Oldcastle, Co. Meath
Email: brunaboinne@opw.ie
Phone: May - Sept + 353 49 8541240
Website: http://www.heritageireland.ie