The Tinnacarra dolmen near Boyle in Co Roscommon.
A fine portal dolmen located just north of the Sligo-Dublin railway line about 3 km west of Boyle, and can be seen from the train as you head for Sligo. It is an easy site to find, and well worth a visit, as the stones are massive, with an enormous capstone. Take the Gurteen road from Boyle; park at the cottage on the right, just past a bad bend where the railway track crosses the road on an arched bridge. walk about 200 meters up the track by the cottage, and cross the track - the dolmen is just inside the field by the track.
has been excavated, and a polished stone axe was found here. The portals
are oriented to Sheegorey (The Fairy Mound of the Sandhill), a cairn on
the most easterly peak of the Curlew Mountains (picture below). An iron
strut was placed in the chamber to keep a leaning orthostat in position.
The capstone is massive, and is tilted quite steeply. All structural stones
are of local sandstone. These types of monument were surrounded by cairns
of stone, from which the capstone would have protuded. The name Tinnacarra
meand Fire Stone.
On a more
subtle level, in his book, Pi in the Sky, Michael Poynder states that
this monument is the southmost point of the Lough Arrow Earth Star, a
man-made collection of Ley lines which measures 8.3 miles in diameter
and incorporates most of the monuments in the region. The big line crosses
the country from Newgrange to Knocknarea, and it is obvious if you look
at a map, that there are an enormous amount of megalithic sites on this
line, including Loughcrew, Sheemor,
Sheebeg, Feenagh, and Sliabh
Da Ean. Poynder says the line ends on Inishmurray
island in Co Sligo.
A cairn on the Curlew Mountains, which overlooks Lough Key. Tinnacarra dolmen is aligned to this monument. The cairn was said to be the home to an ogre who ate a Christian for breakfast every morning. It is close to the site of the 1599 Battle of the Curlews.