Cairn M, a fairly large cairn with a diameter of about 20 meters is perched on the
top of its own hill at an altitude of 244 meters. This hill, called Sliabh Rua - the Red
Mountain and Carraig Breac - the Speckled Rock, is really a fourth hill in what this classic
triple megalithic complex. It lies about halfway between Cairnbane west
and Sliabh na Cailleach and somewhat to the south of both. There is a large rock outcrop on the southwest side of the hill where a family of ravens live.
The cairn is fairly ruined with no indication of
the type of chamber or passage. There are no visible large rocks, though Herity mentions kerbstones. The south side of the cairn has been flattened, probably during land clearance. This monument stands out clearly on the horizon when viewed from the south.
The large boulder, shown above, 30 meters to the northwest of the cairn, is the only large stone remaining. Perhaps this is the Speckled Rock?
When viewed from Cairn
the November and Febuary cross-quarter day sunrises come up over Cairn
M. The Beltine and Lunasadh cross-quarter day sun rises over Cairn T and sets behind Cairn L.
This is a fairly
ruined monument on a knoll to the southwest of Cairn T, at 213 meters
above sea level. The cairn was perhaps 19 m in diameter, judging from
the remaining mound of stones. There are several kerbstones still in position, but none of the chamber stones are visible.
The nearby standing stone a 2 meter flat slab, is illustrated
by Martin Brennan with an unusual engraving, barely visible today. There
is also a more modern cross on south edge of the stone.
Researcher Martin Brennan
claimed the winter solstice sunset, when observed from here, sets behind
the Ben of Fore - an unusual shaped hill about 16 kilometers away, but this has
been disputed by other researchers. I have observed the equinox sunset from this position, when the sun drops behind the largest monument at Loughcrew, Cairn D on Cairnbane West.
Cairn O was located just within the gate one enters to access Cairnbane West from
the road. Today a low circular mound remains, which would be easy to miss
were it not for the OPW notice. The monument measured
about 10 meters in diameter. There were three stones remaining in Conwell's
time. An engraved stone, probably from this site has been re-erected by
the hedge. A few large stones in the ditch south of here are probably
also from this monument.
The landowner does not allow visits to Cairnbane West without permission. This is a pity as the sites on Cairnbane West have some beautiful examples of neolithic art, and at Cairns I, L, H and F, enough of the passages and chambers remain to observe sunbeams. In an ideal world, this fantastic site would to be purchased by the government and protected.