highly decorated, but exposed, surface of stone 14 at Cairn U, beside
Cairn T at the summit of Carnbane East at Loughcrew. Cairn U has a circumference
of 48.2 metres, and the passage is oriented to 108 degrees (18 degrees
south of east). A plan of the passage and chamber of Cairn U is shown
above right. Its plan is similar to that of Cairn L.
8 is also impressive, but worn by the weather. The dot inside the circle,
which is present in the centre of the concentric part-circles towards
the top right of the stone, represents the sun, according to Brennan. This symbol for the sun persists to this day in astronomy. This cairn,
like many of those at Loughcrew, appears not to have had a roof. The passage
is extremely narrow, and its orientation does not seem to be toward any
sunrise of calendrical significance, according to Jean McMann's measuremens,
but some believe the passage to be oriented on Samhain and Imbolc sunrises (Nov/Feb
Cross Quarter Day). I have not observed this event yet!
says Cairn U "is synchronized with Cairn L to indicate the cross-quarter
days on 8 November and 4 February, marking the beginning of winter and
spring." Another small cairn, Cairn S, indicates cross-quarter days
on 6 May and 8 August, marking the beginning of Summer and Autumn. Imagery
on the back stone of Cairn U may represent the rising sun, according to
Click on the image on right to see a larger version. Much of the art at Loughcrew is exposed to the elements, and thus is faded and difficult to see except under special lighting conditions.