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Circle 37 at Carrowmore photographed by Robert Welch in 1896.
Dolmen 37 at Carrowmore photographed by Robert Welch in 1896 looking south-east to the Ballygawley mountains and the House of the Cailleach.

Circle 37

Circle 37 is located on the southern ridge of Carrowmore. The dolmen is perfect, and rests on five uprights. The chamber is oriented to the north. There seem to be several circles here; an inner circle of smaller stones, which is not visible today was noted by Wood-Martin. The boulder circle is somewhat disturbed, but twelve stones make a ring thirteen meters in diameter. There seems to be a spaced boulder circle here also, with eleven large boulders, widely spaced, forming an outer circle or oval about twenty-five meters in diameter.

Dolmen 37 in the townland of Grague, the only monument not in Carrowmore, photographed by W. A. Green in 1909.
Dolmen 37 in the townland of Grague, the only monument not in Carrowmore, photographed by W. A. Green in 1909.

Wood-Martin thought there might have been a fourth, even larger circle, but it is hard to make out today. There are many large erratic boulders in this area, which he may have mistaken for a circle. To the west of Circle 37, some eight circles are recorded as being destroyed by Petrie. There are many stray and erratic boulders along this ridge, and no trace of these circles can be identified for certain.

Site 37 - Borlase

No. 37. Situated to the south of XLVI (dolmen-circle).

"This is a triple circle with a perfect cromleac in its centre. The inner circle is composed of small stones placed quite close to each other, and not more than a foot or so above the soil. This circle is about 40 feet in diameter. The second circle is composed of very large stones, twelve in number, and consequently greatly apart from each other, the interval being about six paces.

This circle is about 80 feet in diameter. The third circle is composed of stones of still greater magnitude, but as several of them have been removed or destroyed, it can only be assumed that they were also twelve. The diameter of this circle is 120 feet. The cromleac is of the smallest size, and is not more than 4 feet in height. The circumference of the table-stone is 16 feet, and it rests on five supporters."

- Petrie.

View from Circle 37 at Carrowmore.
A large fallen stone at Circle 36 looking south to Carrowkeel and Kesh Corran.

Col. Wood-Martin thinks this may even have been a quadruple circle. His plan of the little dolmen shows that at the north or northwest end there was a narrow entrance, and evidence of the existence of the usual' porch-like extension in that direction. It is between the inner and the second circle of Petrie that a fourth circle may have existed.

"Traces of flagging were observable at the bottom of the chamber, but it seemed to have been completely cleared out, as only 4 small fragments of calcined bones were discovered."

- Wood-Martin.

Circle 37 at Carrowmore.
Dolmen 37 at Carrowmore. This monument is located at the southern edge of the great ring of circles within the complex.

Circle 38

No. 38. Situated to the west of 37; only a few feet distant (dolmen-circle).

"Not more than [number omitted in the MS.] stones remain, and the cromleac is wholly destroyed. The diameter is sixty feet."

- Petrie.

It is difficult to say now exactly how many circles were destroyed in this area. It is highly likely that this boulder field shows the southern portion of Carrowmore as it looked after the glaciers had passed by: boulders strewn everywhere. Petrie admits that he was unwell during his visit here, having got soaked at Moytura east of Lough Arrow. His imagination may have been running away with him. Today it is considered that there were never more than forty neolithic passage-graves at Carrowmore.

A large barrow close to Circle 37.
A large barrow close to Circle 37 looking north to Listoghil.

Site 39

No. 39. Situated but a few feet west of 38 ( dolmen-circle ).

"This circle is still more injured than 38; only ten stones remain. They are of large size, and the diameter of the circle is seventy feet."

- Petrie.

Dolmen  37 at Carrowmore with  Circle 32 beyond, by William Wakeman.
Dolmen 37 at Carrowmore with Circle 32 beyond, by William Wakeman. Image © Sligo County Library.

Sites 40 and 41

Nos. 40 and 41. Situated in the small field to the east of that in which 38 is placed (two dolmen-circles).

"Of these two circles only a few stones remain. They were destroyed by Mr. Walshe's tenants about twenty years before 1837. As usual, human bones were found in the tombs."

- Petrie.

View from Carrowmore to Kesh Corran.
The view from Carrowmore to Kesh Corran. Circle 36 is to the right.