Fáilte - Welcome to County Sligo
Benbulben is Ireland’s most distinctive mountain and known in some parts as Ireland’s version of Table Mountain. It is the result from the different responses to erosion of the limestone and shale of which the mountain is formed. A hard and resistant limestone forms the upper cliffs and precipices. Many legends and tales have been woven round the almost magical mountain that is Benbulben. Mysterious shady valleys dominate the landscape in this upland alpine-like region.
Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery in County Sligo is the largest, and one of the most important, megalithic sites in Europe.
Over 60 tombs have been located by archaeologists. The oldest pre-dates Newgrange by 700 years and is older than the pyramids.Tombs are accessible and a restored cottage houses a small exhibition relating to the site. Visitors are advised to wear shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain.
Knocknarea Mountain (Cnoc na Rí) is situated 4 miles west of Sligo Town, in the area of the Strandhill Peninsula.
Knocknarea dominates the skyline of Sligo town standing tall at 1078 feet. Walking to the summit of the mountain is only accessible by foot by taking a neatly paved path from the car park. The walk to the summit of the mountain takes an average of 40 – 45 minutes and it suitable for all ages. Once you reach the top, there lies the cairn of Queen Maeve of Connacht. The cairn is about 10 meters high and is visible for miles around. It has not been excavated but it is thought to cover a passage tomb similar to that of Heapstown Cairn. Queen Maeve and Knocknarea Mountain are mentioned in several of Yeats’ poems and are of keen interest in Irish myth. There are spectacular views around County Sligo.
The site of Sligo Abbey contains a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture, well preserved cloisters and the only sculptured 15th century high altar to survive in any Irish monastic church.
Known locally as the ‘Abbey’, it survives from the medieval days. Built by Maurice Fitzgerald for the Dominicans in 1252 and was accidentally burnt down in 1414, when a candle left carelessly in the building set it on fire, and it was further damaged during the 1641 rebellion. Legend says that worshippers saved the Abbey’s silver bell which was thrown into Lough Gill and only those free from sin can hear it peal.
Access to site through Visitor Centre. Restricted access to site for visitors with disabilities.
W.B. Yeats Grave at Drumcliffe Graveyard
Irish poet Willain Butler Yeats chose this peaceful churchyard at Drumcliffe in County Sligo as his final resting place, with it’s stunning location at the foot of Benbulben mountain. The graveyeard has the remains of a round tower and a high cross constructed in the 11th when there was a Christian monastery on site. The monastery was founded by Saint Columcille (Columba) in 574.
Drumcliffe Tea House and Craft Shop offers good wholesome food together with mouth-watering home-made cakes and desserts. There is a selection of Yeats and Irish Interest Books to browse through, complimented by a distinctive selection of original quality Crafts. Enjoy cheerful service and a relaxed atmosphere with convenient, free parking. Open daily all year round. Accessible to all.
While Yeats died in France it was his wish to rest:
“Under bare Ben Bulben’s head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago, a church stands near,
By the road an ancient cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase;
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:
Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!”
Saint Columcille, is also commenerated here with a statue located in the church yard.There is also a cafe and gallery located on the grounds and large car park.