Loughcrew is one of the four main passage tomb sites in Ireland. No comprehensive dating programme has been conducted there, but the monuments are estimated to date from about 3300 BC. The sites consist of cruciform chambers covered in most instances by a mound. A unique style of megalithic petroglyphs are seen there, including lozenge shapes, leaf shapes, as well as circles, some surrounded by radiating lines.
The site is spread across three hilltops, Carnbane East, Carnbane West, and Patrickstown. The Irish name for the site is Sliabh na Caillí, which means “mountain of the hag”. Legend has it that the monuments were created when a giant hag, striding across the land, dropped her cargo of large stones from her apron. The orthostats and structural stones of the monuments tend to be from local green gritstone, which was soft enough to carve.
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