Carrowmore 7, the most complete dolmen and circle remaining in the complex. This monument has an intact stone circle and is perfect dolmen. The large capstone balances on three points. Looking west to Knocknarea.

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Site 7

This is the most complete monument at Carrowmore. A graceful dolmen balances on three upright stones, and covers a chamber which opens to the south east. There are a few stones remaining of a short passage.The dolmen is quite tall, and has plenty of room within the chamber, unlike, for example Site 4, which has a tiny chamber. The floor of the chamber was flagged.

A complete circle of 32 boulders, which measures 12.5 meters in diameter, surrounds the monument. There is a smaller inner ring, which measures 8.5 meters in diameter. The circle has a raised earthen platform within the ring, a common feature of the Carrowmore sites. The monument is built on a slope, and is close to the edge of the Carrowmore plateau: there is a sudden drop behind the dolmen to the east, where the chimneys of a house are about level with the monument.

Plan of Carrowmore 7.

Site 7 and Site 13 have the largest remaining dolmens at Carrowmore, and both have passageways which are oriented away from the centre of the complex. It has been speculated that these two monuments may be the entrance into the Carrowmore complex. From this point, a trail of monuments leads off to the north - the spaced boulder circles 9, 9A and 10, and a few Bronze age barrows. Recent work outside Sligo town on the Sligo bypass uncovered the remains of a large causewayed enclosure, which dates from the neolithic, and it is highly likely that there was a route from it to Carrowmore.

Carrowmore 7. From an original sketch by Petrie.

Site 7 was excavated in 1978 by Dr. Burenhult's team. The monument had been thoroughly cleared out by the time Wood-Martin excavated it. However, Burenhult found cremated bones in various deposits, which amount to about 1kg. Fragments of antler pins, a piece of chert, an arrowhead and a limestone marble were also found. A cache of about 200 seashells were found in a pit just outside the circle - remains of a feast? A small porcelin statuette of Venus was found, which was probably placed there by one of the earlier excavators. A post hole was discovered under the chamber floor.

Visitors will find that this is one of the most photographic monuments at Carrowmore, and is also the best place to take a picture of Knocknarea and Queen Maeve's cairn, with the circle in the foreground. I remember seeing this monument on TV late one night: someone had used it in a video for dance music, and treated it with vivid psychadelic colours!

The perfect dolmen and circle and view to Knocknarea.