Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Sit in the Witches Chair.

The cairns of Loughcrew are known in Irish as Siliabh na Cailleagh, meaning ‘the Witches/ Hag’s Mountain’, and can be found in two groups spread over the hills of Carnbane West and Carnbane East, overlooking the town of Oldcastle in Co Meath. The Loughcrew cairns are estimated to be around 5200 years old.

The ‘Witches Throne/ Chair’ is located on Canbane East at the base of Cairn T, which is a short, steep climb up from the car park.

The Witches Throne is a huge kerbstone carved with armrests at the base of cairn T at the highest point of Loughcrew. It measures  3 m (10 ft) across, and 1.8 m (6 ft) high, and is estimated to weigh in the region of 10 tons.  The site’s discover, Eugene Conwell, in the 1860s made a drawing of the stone which reveals that it was once covered in mystic symbols. Sadly these have been eroded by the elements and can no longer be seen. It is quite distinct from the other kerbstones, which makes you wonder, did it have some special significance to the people who placed it there?

Local folklore claims that the cairns were formed when a giant witch, known as the Cailleagh, was leaping from summit to summit carrying huge boulders in her apron. Some of the stones fell from her apron and scattered across the hilltops, thus forming the cairns.

The Cailleagh sat and surveyed her territory from her throne, and it’s not hard to see why she chose this spot as her vantage point… the views are stupendous!  On a clear day, it is possible to see the Cooley mountains, Mourne mountains and Slieve Gullion to the north east, the Dublin and Wicklow mountains to the south east, Slieve Bloom mountains (Laois and Offaly) to the south, and mountains in Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo to the west.

Unfortunately for the witch, one day she slipped whilst touring the hilltops of her domain, and tumbled to her death. She was buried beneath a cairn where she fell.

Today, it is said that if you are brave enough to sit in her throne, the Cailleagh may grant you a wish. Well, it’s worth a try!

You can read more about Loughcrew in my posts Equinox at Loughcrew, and Loughcrew| Mountain of the Hag.

The cairns at Loughcrew are open and free to visit throughout the summer months. An OPW guide is on hand to show you around the site. There is car parking, which is also free.
You can arrange a guided tour of Loughcrew cairns hereFind out more about Loughcrew and other associated sites here.

If you wish to reblog this post, please use the PRESS THIS button. It’s easy!

thank you for visitingWant more mythology? Sign up to my mailing list!
Or get one of these!

21 Comments on “Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Sit in the Witches Chair.

  1. Found this way back in my mail. Ali. What a delightful tale and the scenery takes your breath away! It will be on our list for sure, but at the rate we are going, we might have to stay and year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! For such a small country we do have a lot to see and do, and a lot of history. You’ll just have to save some for your next trip, Noelle! 😀


  2. I loved listening to the man with the Irish brogue in the first video. There are a lot of cool places to visit and things to see in Ireland, Ali. I can see why you love Ireland, Irish mythology, and Irish history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I really do, Rachele. Until I came to Ireland, I had enjoyed many places in the world I had visited, but I had never loved the land before. I do understand how people get so patriotic and sentimental over their country, now, which I never did before. I am surrounded by lovely Irish accents all day long, but sometimes I am captivated by a particular voice which stands out. His voice is quite magical, I think. I could listen to him tell stories all day. Happy Halloween! 👻😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ali. You’re certainly lucky to live near such fantastic ancient sites. It’s not too far for you to drive to Oweynagat for halloween, either. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great, Ali. If you do decide to get a wet bum and slide down into the vestibule don’t forget to have a look at Medb’s name on the lintel.I wasn’t that brave to go inside. Just finding where the entrance is hard enough and rewarding enough.


        • Oh I don’t intend going all that way and not going inside, Colin!I will look out for Medb’s name, thanks for the tip, and I look forward to sharing my experience of it with you soon.


      • No, that’s what I was going to wish for when I got there. Just a short steep climb you said…….
        xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx


        • Oh David! If only you could heal your leg by asking the Cailleagh for a wish. I’d wish it for you, since I’m nearer. In fact, maybe I’ll go do that when I’m on half term next week. Meanwhile, I hope its on the mend since you wrote this comment. Huge hugs to you! xxx


Please feel free to join in the conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.