Another photo from the 1911 excavation. Armstrong, left and Praegar, right, are about 25 meters apart.
The structures described in this report are situated on an area comprising part of seven townlands, called respectively Tully ("mound"), Trian Scrabbagh ("rugged third"), Ceathramhadh Caol ("narrow quarter"), Mullach Fearna ("summit of the alder," also, and I suspect more correctly, called Mullach Borna, "summit of barley"), Dun na bhFioradh ("fortress of the ridges"), and the East and West Carraig na hEorna ("rock of the barley"). The Anglicized spelling of these simple words is of the usual ugly and cumbrous appearance: both forms will be found marked on the map, Plate X.
This map has been designed and drawn in a form meant to show as clearly as possible, to a reader unfamiliar with the ground, its remarkable character. The summits are left white, the long, straight valleys being deeply shaded. The precipitous walls of rock which line the valleys for the greater part of their length are marked by specially shaded lines which are easily distinguished.
On the ridge of "Little Carns" is a huge and picturesque swallow-hole, which we explored without any result of special interest, known as Poll na "the hole of the gColum"; to say, an idea seems to though, strange pigeons have got abroad in the district that the name means hole of the foxes." It must be admitted that the latter is amore suitable name. A broad shelf on the east side of this ridge, above one precipice and below another, is called Bothar na Beinne, "the way of the hill-top " this is possibly a tradition of a road followed by the ancient inhabitants. It is not a natural way to follow, but that is not a conclusive objection: there might have been a ritual significance in the road. The precipice below this "road "is called Caiseal "Castle."
A pathway leads up the side of Carrowkeel mountain, through a thicket of hazel. This may be the original trail between the cairns and Doonaveeragh.
The next valley is called "Upper Clar,' a curious mixture of English and Irish: it tmeans "Upper table," i.e. "Upper flat land." In the precipice that bounds this valley on the western side, a short distance north of the mearing between Ceathramhadh Caol and Mullach Fearna townlands, is a curious rift in the rock, which gives easy access to the top of the precipice. It is about fifty-six feet in length, and perhaps on an average five feet wide: the cliff bounds it on the west, and a great isolated wall of rock forms its eastern wall. It is locally called Boithin an tSagairt, “the priest's hut," and probably was used during the penal times as a hiding-place for some priest, a purpose which it would well serve, being out of tne line of traffic, and quite invisible to anyone not acquainted with the district. The Irish name is being lost, More likely, however, it may be simply Loch an Beal, the lake of the (valley) mouth, as Mr. 0'Klaffe has suggested to us. however, and an incorrect English name, "the priest's grave" substituted: to explain which a story about Cromwell shooting a priest and burying him here has evolved itself. A small pile of stones, lying apparently directly on the rock, in a recess just inside the lower entrance to the passage and on the eastern side, is pointed out as the "grave". The easternmost spur consists of two parts, the towering crest of Dun na bhFioradh and the flat table-land on which stands the settlement to be described, called Corr Logach, "the hollowy hill," or Clar Corrach, "the marshy (or level) table-land." In the valleys there is nothing of archaeological interest to be seen. On the ridges are the following:
?The typical carns are conical mounds of stone, erected on a base more or less circular. They are composed entirely of the limestone native to the spot, save for occasional fragments of calcite, or of the erratic blocks of sand stone that are strewn about in the neighbourhood. The only earth in the carns is a little peat which has evidently been blown over them as dust, and then been washed by rain into the interstices between the stones. Except in the case of two or three of the carns, very little vegetation has found root them. The internal structure, as will be seen from the detailed description that upon follows, is not uniform. In the concluding summary the various types are enumerated. As at Brugh na Boinne, The chambers are never centred exactly in the heart of the mound, but are rather to one side. Once for all we may here state that although we searched for sculptured ornament, such as is to be seen at Brugh na Boinne, with the most scrupulous care, not a single decorated stone came to light anywhere, either outside or inside the carns. The carns are denoted by letters in order from A to P (excluding the letters I, J, which are inconveniently apt to be confused with numerals): they are taken from north to south on each of the ridges in turn, beginning with the most westerly.
Neolithic art was discovered in Cairn B at Carrowkeel for the first time in 2009.
It is devoutly to he wished that the pointless modern label of this structure ("Newgrange") should he abandoned in favour of its ancient Irish name.
An aerial view of Lough Availe. Left on the ridge of Treanscrabbagh is Cairn B, and right on the ridge of Cairn Mor are cairns E and F. Photo by Sam Moore.