Equinox sunset over Knocknarea.
The complete circle at Carrowmore 57, looking northeast to Benbulben. The photo is taken from Site 56 which is only a few steps away. Circle 7 can be made out just to the left of the cottage.

Carrowmore circle 57

Carrowmore 57 is a large and well-preserved circle close to the center of the Carrowmore complex. The circle is located on the edge of a gentle hill close to the central monument and right beside Circle 56, with good views to the north and towards Knocknarea. The circle is divided by a fieldwall dating from the 1830's, so a slice of the circle comprising 11 boulders remain in private ownership outside the O.P.W. compound.

Circle 57 at Carrowmore
Carrowmore 57.

This monument is one of several which was reused at a later period. During the bronze age, a boulder within the southeast side of the circle was rolled aside to make an entry, and the dolmen and chamber were dismantled and removed from the circle. The large boulder in the fieldwall just south of the circle may be the capstone of the dolmen from Circle 57. A pit or hollow at the center may be the remains of the chamber, while two pieces of limestone may be the last piece of a passage.

Circle 57 at Carrowmore
Carrowmore 57 viewed from Circle 17.

This is one of the larger circles at Carrowmore with a diameter of 18 meters. As usual the boulders enclose a large earthen platform or tertre. The 32 stones used in this circle are of a very large size in contrast to the stones in Circle 56 which are much smaller; and those on the west side are laid end to end, while many of those on the east site are standing upright.

"This circle is perfect, and consists of thirty-two (thirty-three according to Wood-Martin.) stones of large size. The diameter is 47 feet. The cromleac is destroyed." - Petrie.
Carrowmore 57, a fine complete circle, but missing its dolmen.
"The result of searches in various spots within the circle was but a few uncalcined bones, also a small fragment of worked flint, and a flint flake, or spear head." - Wood-Martin.
The view north from Circle 57.
The view north from Circle 57, towards Circle 7 and Benbulben.

The circle is slightly oval, measuring 60 feet from east to west, and 52 from north to south (out to out).

View to the south over Carrowmore circles 56 and 57, illustrated by Wakeman. The hills of Croughan and Doomore, each with a neolithic cairn on its summit, are on the horizon. Image © County Sligo Library.