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Sligo and County Mayo

IRELAND | Wednesday, 2 July 2014 | Views [398]

Carromore Megalithic Cemetery

Carromore Megalithic Cemetery

WE WANDERED OVER THE BORDER INTO THE REPUBLIC, but this time on purpose.  And we decided to stay for a few nights.  It just makes more sense to visit Sligo and Mayo now while we are in the north.  It’s a lot like driving in Vermont, only on the other side of the road.  Castle View B&B looks like a hotel, is run like a hostel but feels like a homestay.  JJ's kids roam the halls like imps, especially wee Karen, my favorite.  You can't actually see Parke's Castle from the place but with a few shots of JJ's home-made plum poteen under my belt, I hardly cared.  


      Ceide Fields (sounds like 'Kay-ja') Stoneage Settlement

This area has been populated for 7,000 years, as evidenced by over 200 stone circles and dolmens.  The most famous, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, is QUOTE the oldest free-standing man-made structure in the world. END QUOTE.  Qualifiers aside, it is a credit to Heritage Ireland that such sites are preserved at all.  Many of the sites in the northwest are either un-remarkable or way off the beaten path like Ceide Fields where we bought our Heritage Ireland Card which makes it compelling enough to seek them out.  Concessionaires (old folks) like us can get an annual pass for €16, good for all the Heritage sites in Ireland.


    "Four Men," one of the carvings at Boyle Abbey

More recent - and better preserved - places to visit include the abbeys of Boyle and Sligo.  Both are surprisingly intact, somehow overlooked by Henry VIII during his vindictive anti-church period.  Boyle Abbey has some interesting carvings around the capitals on the nave columns and we made a treasure hunt out of sussing out all of them.  Sligo Abbey sits right in the heart of the town and looks as if they could hold services there this Sunday if the weather is good.  Sadly, there is no roof. 


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