Heapstown Cairn

Heapstown Cairn

Heapstown Cairn is located near Castlebaldwin in County Sligo, and is a passage tomb 60 metres in diameter and 6 metres high.

It is the largest monument of its kind outside of the Boyne Valley. It is believed to have once been much bigger, but much of it was removed through the ages, and used to build walls and roads.

Most of the limestone kerbstones are still visible around its base.

A drawing by George Petrie in 1837 shows a standing stone on its summit, but this has long since disappeared. (To see this drawing click here.) 

It is said that the cairn covers a well that possessed special healing powers. The Tuatha de Danann used this well to heal their warriors during the Second Battle of Moytura, so that they were fit, healthy and strong enough to return to the fight.

Their enemies, the Fomori, took boulders from the River Drowse and threw them into the well until eventually a huge cairn covered the pool, thus preventing the Danann from using it.

heapstown crossroads

In my book, Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean, Heapstown Crossroads is where Conor and Annalee meet the farmer who gives them a lift into  Castlebaldwin after Conor spends a night under the Cairn.

Gate at Heapstown Cairn

This image shows the gate and stile over which Annalee levitates Conor’s wheelchair after his night spent under the Cairn.

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12 Comments on “Heapstown Cairn

  1. Pingback: Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Stop by a Holy Well | aliisaacstoryteller

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    • Your welcome! Ireland is littered with these places… most of them aren’t even on the maps! Our ancient ancestors were very prolific builders. My hubby and I are always spotting new sites when driving about.


  5. Hi Ali I hope you enjoyed your holiday. I just read this and found yet another place to add to my go to list.
    I love how you are integrating these wonderful places into your story.
    Best wishes


    • Thanks Grace. I’m not sure if readers actually realise these places are real… I hope so. It doesn’t matter to the story, but my underlying message is to educate about these places so they never get forgotten, and maybe to even encourage a visitor or two!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thats good, exactly the result I would hope for… an accurate enough description for the reader to visualise it, but enough scope left for the reader to colour it with their own imagination and personality! Thanks for that feedback!

      Liked by 2 people

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