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View from Cairn A.
The view of Carnbane with Cairn T on the summit, and Cairn M on Carrigbreac from the ruins of Cairn A.

Loughcrew - Cairn A

There are three sites labelled A, Cairns A, A2 and A3. All were quite ruined when Conwell looked at them in the 1860's. A and A2 seem to have been quite small (between 6 and 8 m in diameter), while he gives a possible diameter of 20 m for A3.

Only kerbstone from Cairn A3 remains on the site. Very lttle remains of A and A2. These three sites are the southmost satellites of the largest cairn at Loughcrew, Cairn D.

On the southern scalp of the hill, in a most conspicuous position, sixty yards south-west from D, and nearly close to the southern side of the present deer-park wall, once stood a carn twenty-two yards in diameter.

Its present remains are not more than a foot or two in height, consisting chiefly of small fragmentary stones, the debris of the former carn, and these are now covered with green grass.

View from Cairn A to Cairn D.
The view of Carnbane West from Cairn A to Cairn D.

Cairn B

Cairn B appears again to have been quite a small monument with a diameter of about 9 meters. It is also quite ruined, with three stones remaining of the chamber. Conwell thought it might be oriented to about 110°, the general direction of the Boyne Valley, Tara and Fourknocks.

Forty-six yards to the west of D are the remains of a carn seven yards in diameter. The loose stones which formed it are nearly all gone, leaving in the centre three large flags, laid on edge, forming a chamber twelve feet in length, and two feet in breadth, pointing in the direction of E 20°S.

In clearing out this chamber several fragments of charred bones, which had acquired an unusual degree of heaviness, were found mixed with the earth at the bottom.

Cairn C at Loughcrew.
Cairn C at Loughcrew, looking west to Cairn A.

Cairn C

The only remains of Cairn C are a few stones which may be what is left of the chamber, in a low mound which Herity gives as perhaps 5 meters across.

Sixty yards to the south-west of D will be found the remains of a carn, five yards in diameter. Nearly all the stones have been removed, leaving only four large stones still marking the site.

At the distance of twenty-five feet to the north of the carn now lies prostrate a pillar stone, which, like the celebrated Menhir of Quintin (Cotes du Nord) which is nine metres over ground, formerly stood upon its smaller end. It measures seven feet long, three feet six inches broad, and one foot thick.

These sites on the south side of Cairnbane West were probably robbed to build the massive wall which seperates them from the other monuments. Huge walls are a feature of the Loughcrew Hills, and must account for the destruction of the smaller cairns.

Loughcrew cashel
Cairn C and the huge unopened Cairn D.