Hi everyone. I hope I find you all keeping well. This week, I continue my tour of Irish historical sites with a trip to the province of Connaught in the west of Ireland. There’s a wealth of amazing places to visit her so it was tough to narrow it down! Here’s five of my must-sees.
Irish Historical Sites. 5 to see in Connaught
1. Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery, County Sligo
First stop is in my favorite County Sligo. Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery is made up of 14 cairns which date back to 3500 BC. They stand on the summits of the Bricklieve Mountains meaning “speckled mountains”, so called because of the bare quartz rock which is visible on the outside of the cairns and causes the mountains to glint and glitter in the sunshine. The monuments were first excavated in 1911 by a team of archaeologists led by Robert Alexander Stewart Mc Alister. They form part of a line of 4 major neolithic passage tomb sites stretching from County Sligo in the west to the Brú na Bóinne (Boyne Valley Tombs) in County Meath.
2. Lissadell House, County Sligo
We stay in Sligo for a trip to Lissadell House on the shores of the Magherow peninsula. Built in 1830, it was the home of the Gore-Booth family and the sisters Constance (later Countess Markievicz) and Eva Gore-Booth spent their childhood there. WB Yeats was a friend and visited the house often. The house and the sisters provided inspiration for his poem, “Lissadell”.
The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle”
The gardens here are also magnificent, sweeping gently down to the shores of the Atlantic.
3. Ashford Castle, County Mayo
We head into neighboring County Mayo for a trip to a stunning Irish medieval castle in a truly fairytale setting. There has been a castle on this site since 1228, erected by the Anglo-Norman House of Burke. In 1939 it was gifted to the Irish government. Today it is a top drawer 5 star hotel and in its long and varied history it has hosted many famous guests including Oscar Wilde, John Lennon and Princess Grace.
4. Céide Fields
Staying in Mayo we head to Ballycastle for a trip to Céide Fields. This ancient field system is over 5000 years old and the brilliant visitors center looking out into the Atlantic Ocean shines a fascinating light on our Stone Age ancestors.
5. Dún Aonghasa, County Galway
We stay in ancient Ireland as we head over to the Aran Islands in County Galway. This incredible prehistoric stone fort is situated on Inis Mór, the largest of the islands. It dates back to the Bronze Age and has been referred to as “the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe.” The location of the fort is stunning, perched on top of a sheer cliff with an 87 meter drop to the Atlantic Ocean.
As always, thanks for dropping by to join me for our wander around Connaught. Do join me next time for a trip to the awesome province of Munster.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!