Cairn S, a neolithic chambered cairn on the summit of Sliabh na Cailleach in Loughcrew. The image is taken from the top of Cairn T, the central monumet on this hill. Top left is Cairnbane West, a cluster of fifteen cairns including the largest monument of the complex, Cairn D, and Cairn L.

 
Main Page
Guided Tours
Introduction
Loughcrew
Megalithic art
The Cailleach
Cairns A, B and C
Cairn D
Cairns E, F and G
Cairn H
Cairns I, J and K
Cairn L
Cairns M, N and O
Cairn R
Cairn S
Cairn T
Cairn U
Cairn V
Cairn W
Cairns X and Y
 

Cairn S

A west-facing Y-shaped chamber, 4 - 5 meters long in a round cairn kerbed both with rounded and flat glacial boulders, 17m in diameter. Six orthostats were ornamented. Conwell described his excavations:

'Immediately outside the entrance of the passage was found a perfect specimen of a leafshaped arrowhead, in white flint, an inch and a half long, and nearly three-quarters of an inch broad.' Two septa of the passage 'were filled up to the height of eighteen inches with charred bones, broken into small fragments.' What appear from the descriptions to be two bone pins were found, one on top of the bones in each of these compartments.

Looking out from the left recess within Cairn S, the light shows a series of solar symbols on the orthostat to the right. Brennan thinks this chamber is oriented to the summer solstice sunset.

Coffey records that Rotherham searched for the stones of the right arm of the chamber in August 1892, but that he found no trace of them. 'On picking over the floor of the chambers in this cairn, in June 1892, we found a well-shaped stone pendant; several fragments of an urn, or urns, three small flakes of flint, showing evidence of fire; a short portion of what might have been a stout bone pin, with a longitudinal groove along one side - this object had been burnt almost to the consistency of porcelain; many pieces of burnt bones, and several human teeth, some strongly marked by fire, others showing no trace of fire. A portion of a bone pin was subsequently found by Mr. Rotherham.' (Herity, 1974).

Cairn S, the ring of stones to the left, and Cairn T, the central monumet on this hill. To the right is Cairnbane East or Patrickstown Hill, where a cluster of monuments were destroyed in the 18th century.