Sligo & Eagles Flying A Biking Weekend to Sligo, Mayo & Roscommon

Queen Medb's Grave on top of Knocknarea

Queen Medb (Meadhbh / Méabh) was queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. Her husband in the core stories of the cycle was Ailill mac Máta, although she had several husbands before him who were also kings of Connacht. She ruled from Cruachan (now Rathcroghan). She is the enemy (and former wife) of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and is best known for starting the Táin Bó Cúailnge ('The Cattle Raid of Cooley') to steal Ulster's prize stud bull.

According to legend, Medb is buried in a 40-foot (12 m) high stone cairn on the summit of Knocknarea (Cnoc na Ré). Supposedly, she is buried upright facing her enemies in Ulster.

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Listoghil

The most famed tomb is Site 51 or Listoghil (Lios an tSeagail) which is the largest monument at Carrowmore; crudely 'excavated' over the course of its history it was re-excavated in a scientific manner by Göran Burenhult in the 1990's and it is his work that exposed the intact curb stones.

Bone and other material recovered during his excavation was dated to 3500 BC. Other dates suggest that there was something going on at the site prior to the tomb being built, with a radiocarbon date of 6100 BC also obtained.

There has also been debate about whether the tomb has an alignment, with Meehan postulating that it was aligned with Imbolc or the beginning of Spring around the 1st February.

Remains of an enclosing boulder circle
A dolmen to the north of the cemetery site
Tomb 7 at Carrowmore

Ballymote Castle

Ballymote Castle is one of the great 'keepless' castles in Ireland; that is there is no great central donjon or keep. It was built at the tail end of the 13th / beginning of the 14th century probably by Richard de Burgo (Richard Óg de Burgh - The Red Earl) who was the most powerful of the de Burgh Earls of Ulster and friend of King Edward ('Longshanks') I of England.

The south wall (opposite wall to the gatehouse) bears scarring and this is presumably related to a tower that was designed to protect a postern (secondary) gate in this wall that was never completed.

The castle is remarkable as the accommodation is housed in the great gatehouse, a similar design, although on a much much larger and grander scale, is Beaumaris Castle - one of the great Welsh castles of Edward I.

Eagles Flying

The Irish Raptor Research Centre / Eagles Flying is home to 100 eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures and other animals. The centre opened in 1999 and it was only in 2003 that is was opened to the public.

The show takes place at an amphitheatre of sorts, with the biology and behaviour of the birds being described in great detail, all mixed in with some humour.

Abandoned Building in Caledon
Former Gatehouse
Created By
Peter Moore
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All Photos Owned By Peter Moore; for reuse or more information please contact.

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