The changing appearance of Tomb 51 - Listoghil - at Carrowmore

The changing appearance of Tomb 51 - Listoghil - at Carrowmore

Tomb 51 at the Carrowmore complex of Neolithic passage-tomb monuments, also known as Listoghil, was extensively reconstructed following excavations in the late 1990s. Those excavations (1996-1998) were led by Swedish archaeologist Goran Burenhult.

Tomb 51 - Listoghil - at Carrowmore in a Leo Swan image

Tomb 51 - Listoghil - is among those at Carrowmore photographed by Leo Swan.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) began a full-scale rebuilding of the cairn in 2004, using field-wall stones which it was thought had been robbed from the cairns of Carrowmore at some time in previous centuries. The restored Listoghil cairn is about 4m high and has a flat top, and a rectangular space around the chamber was created using gabion baskets. This gives the monument a distinctly modern look - an appearance that is often commented on by visitors to Carrowmore, and let's just say some of the opinions are less than complimentary!

A Google Earth image of Carrowmore showing a reconstructed Tomb 51
A Google Earth image of Carrowmore showing a reconstructed Tomb 51.

The removal of the old stone field walls and the creation of this very neat-looking new cairn at Tomb 51 changed the appearance of the Carrowmore landscape. This is obvious from these two images. The first is an aerial photo taken by the late Leo Swan (date of photograph unknown). The second is an image from Google Earth, showing just how dramatic the change in the appearance of Listoghil was. The third image shows the modern appearance of Listoghil photographed by drone.

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