Knocknarea meaning hill of kings is located near Strandhill and dominates the skyline of west Sligo. Knocknarea is located only half an hour away from Ocean Heights B&B, and the hill is a very popular climb for tourists and hill walkers, who are rewarded with wonderful views of Strandhill and Benbulben.
On top of the Knocknarea lies Queen Maeve’s Grave or Cairn a neolithic passage tomb that has never been excavated and is 600 feet in circumference and 34 feet high.
The tradition is that Maeve, the legendary queen of Connacht is buried underneath the cairn. Maeve and Knocknarea Mountain are mentioned in several of Yeats’ poems and are of keen interest in Irish myth.
From Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland by W.B. Yeats:
“The wind has bundled up the clouds high over Knocknarea,
And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say.
Angers that are like noisy clouds have set our hearts abeat;
But we have all bent low and low and kissed the quiet feet
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.”