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Knocknarea – Queen Medb’s Tomb

A tomb fit for a Warrior Queen

Unguided sites

Knocknarea South
Sligo

Knocknarea – Queen Medb’s Tomb

A tomb fit for a Warrior Queen

Unguided sites

Knocknarea South
Sligo

Notice

Knocknarea is a state-owned free National Monument in the care of the Office of Public Works

Knocknarea – Queen Medb’s Tomb

Situated within the Knocknarea passage tomb landscape in Sligo, lies a cairn spanning 35 feet high and 200 feet in diameter, with a legend supposedly resting beneath.

This is said to be Queen Medb’s burial place, the legendary war goddess of Celtic Myth who appears in the Ulster Cycle. Medb leads the epic Táin bó Cuailnge against the Ulster forces for the possession of the brown bull of Cooley.

There are multiple iterations of her name: Medhbh, Méabh, and Maeve; however the Old Irish version Medb appears to be the original version.

The cairn is likely to date back to the same period as Newgrange, and in 2021 an attempt was underway to secure UNESCO World Heritage Status for the Cairn and the surrounding satellite tombs in Knocknarea. Currently it sits on the tentative list, and if the attempt were to be successful it would make it the fourth UNESCO property on the island of Ireland.

The Cairn is linked with similar passage tombs through their mythological connections and ritual importance such as Carrowkeel and Carrowmore Megalithic Cemeteries.

The interior of this predominantly limestone mound has remained untouched, so it is still a mystery as to exactly what…or who…lays inside.

Protect our Past - Click here to read about the importance of protecting our country’s unique heritage sites

This national monument is protected in accordance with the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014

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