Loughanleagh Cairns

Moyer Cairn

There are three cairns situated on the Loughanleagh mountain range. I was told the views from the cairns were awesome, sadly the weather took a turn for the worst during our visit. A relatively short walk from the car park, brings you to the highest point of the mountain range. A well preserved cairn, in Moyer townland, sits on the top of the peak. The diameter of the cairn is almost 20 metres, the lower part is hidden under heather. Standing in the centre of the cairn, at c.342 metres is a triangulation pillar.

Longitude: 6° 54' 8" W, Latitude: 53° 54' 30"N.

Corraweelis Cairn

A slightly more difficult and longer walk, in the same SSW direction, takes you up and down through a pine forest. It is a little trickier to find this cairn. It is situated in Corraweelis townland, on the top of the second highest hill in the range. The cairn is almost completely covered in heather. We thought we had come across it earlier, but suddenly I saw the national monument sign next to the base of the next mound. The best way to find it, is to look for the communications mast which stands in a fenced area immediately to the south of the cairn. The tops of both these cairns have been damaged by treasure hunters digging holes in them.

Longitude: 6° 54' 23" W. Latitude: 53° 54' 11" N.

A third cairn in Mohercrom is now hidden in forestry to the north of the car-park. According to folklore, a Cailleach, a divine hag or old woman, was responsible for creating the cairns at Loughanleagh, after dropping the stones from her apron. In a field to the east of the car park is the strange arrangement of stones, pictured above, they surround a stone with a large depression. One story about the stones, tells of a young woman, approaching St Patrick, who was preaching to a congregation at the stones. After eating a handful of berries the woman turned into the hag and started attacking the people. St Patrick grabbed his staff, dropped on one knee and dealt the hag a killer blow. The stone, pictured below, is said to bear the impression left by St Patrick's knee. Traditionally on Domnach na bhFraochóg or Bilberry Sunday, the last Sunday in July, evolved from the celtic Lughnasa Festival, locals would gather bilberries from the hillside.

Situated: From Bailieborough head east on the R165. for about 1 kilometre. Take a right at the fork and go about 4.5 kilometres. Look for the car park on your left. The track on the right handside leads to the cairns.

Discovery Map 35: N 7226 9649. Last visit Mar 2019.

Longitude: 6° 54' 1" W Car Park.

Latitude: 53° 54' 46" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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