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Queen Maeve's Cairn
Strandhill, Co. Sligo
Free to visit
Cloudy days
Queen Maeve's Cairn is an iconic part of the Sligo landscape. It sits atop Knocknarea Mountain, a visible landmark west of Sligo Town, overlooking Strandhill. It was built by Neolithic people around 3000 BC.

Queen Maeve's Cairn, County Sligo, is also known as Misgaun Maeve. As the name suggests, it was built for Maeve, the Iron Age queen of Connacht, but any association with her is probably legendary.

The top of Knocknarea Mountain seems to have been a major place of ritual and meeting in the Neolithic era. The entire top of Knocknarea, on the eastern side, is circumscribed by a 1km long embankment. Hut sites have been located on the inside of this area and debris from making stone tools has also been found.

Queen Maeve's Cairn is by far the largest monument on Knocknarea, being 10m high and 60m across at the base. It is estimated that the stones used in the construction of the cairn would weigh approximately 30,000 metric tons. It probably covers a passage tomb, similar to those at Carrowkeel, in south County Sligo, and in the Boyne Valley, County Meath.

Each year, in July, runners from all over Ireland and various parts of the world converge on Strandhill to follow in the footsteps of Queen Maeve's ancient warriors. This mountain running race is known as the Warriors Run.

Contact details
Knocknarea, Strandhill, Co. Sligo, Ireland
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