6000 years of spectacular history and heritage
Clew Bay is one of the most spectacular sea inlets in Ireland that has attracted human settlement for at least 6000 years. The Clew Bay Archaeological Trail is a heritage trail that has recently been developed to showcase and explain this long habitation and has been divided into 4 stages from Westport to Murrisk, to Louisburgh, and onto Clare Island. Millions of pilgrims have walked or staggered up the nearby Croagh Patrick but all along the surrounding area are 21 archaeological and heritage sites that can be viewed on a leisurely day. You can visit the Boheh Stone that is completely decorated in cup-and ring-marks dating from the Bronze Age. In 1989, Gerry Bracken from Westport noted that from this stone on April 18th and August 24th the setting sun appears to roll down Croagh Patrick. The dates may have been selected to mark the sowing and harvesting seasons. You can also visit the Carrownalurgan ring fort and explore several sites including Clare Island Abbey with its fabulous wall paintings dominated by an Anglo-Norman knight on horseback.