Historical / Archaeological Sligo

Steeped in history, Sligo plays host to numerous pre-historic remains, archaeological gems and areas of outstanding natural beauty; in fact, the renowned poet W.B. Yeats called Sligo "the land of heart's desire".

Among the historic locations, Sligo Abbey, for example, contains a wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture, well-preserved cloisters, and the only sculptured 15th century high altar still standing in any Irish monastic church. Known locally as the Abbey, this Dominican Friary will inspire any visitor, young or old.

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, one of the largest such tombs in Ireland, is also among the country's oldest. Over 60 tombs have been located by archaeologists, the oldest of which pre-date Newgrange by around 700 years. Another megalithic cemetery, Carrowkeel hill top passage tomb is worth a visit. While Knocknarea, believed locally to be the burial place of the legendary Queen Maeve whose father, the High King of Ireland, gave her Connaght as a gift is a significant site. Archaeologists believe it may date back to 3000 BC.

An organised tour of the Lake Isle of Innisfree offers visitors the opportunity to visit the area of "outstanding natural beauty" that's steeped in myth and legend, which inspired Yeats to write his world-famous poetry.

No trip to Sligo would be complete without a visit to Drumcliffe, the location of W.B. Yeats' grave with its meaningful inscription "Cast a cold eye on life, on death. Horseman, pass by!" An absolute must.

Exploring Sligo