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The Hill of the Moon

Knocknarea is the magical cairn decked mountain just West of Sligo town, at the end of the Coolrea Penninsula. The mountain is a 320 m limestone hum sculpted by the retreating glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. The area around Knocknarea is covered in ancient remains, including Carrowmore which is one of the largest megalithic sites in Western Europe.

The earliest date recovered so far suggests that monument building began in this region around 5,400 BC. In the woodblock, which was designed for a poster competition, an observer watches the sun setting over Knocknarea Mountain from Cairns Hill, another important megalithic site just south of Sligo Town. The equinox sun is represented by the engraving from the Great Basin in the east passage of Knowth, the largest cairn in Ireland.

The viewer who stands on Maeve's Cairn on Knocknarea can watch the sun or full moon rise over Lough Gill, which translates as 'The Lake of Brightness' at equinox. Then at sunset, the observer may stand on Cairns Hill and watch the Knocknarea alignment as illustrated in the print.