The Neale Pyramid, a 10 metre high stepped pyramid located in the hamlet of Neale about 4 km from Cong is really strange. I'd never hear about it before visiting Cong this time. As far as I can find out it was built in the 18th century by a local landowner as a memorial to his brother. However there are also suggestions that it was built as a famine work and its possible that both stories are true. Ireland had a lot of famines some of which were almost as severe as the great famine of 1845-48 and it was normal for the local grandees to provide work to those who otherwise would not be able to earn their keep at such times. Of course such work had to be avoid displacing useful activities and so was usually of some utterly pointless nature (a road to nowhere, monuments, mad follies etc) The important thing was that people had to work for their bread and weren't simply given charity.
However I'm rather curious about the actual age of the structure as it looks like it was put up last week!
There is a beautiful wooded walk that begins rougly opposite the entrance to Ashford Castle. Justa short walk from the village, the wooded path leads to Kelly's cave. It Only takes about 10 mins to get thee.
The natural cave is supposed to be padlocked, but it rarely is. It's quite safe, at least in the initial chamber if you take a torch, or take time for your eyes to adjust.
It is said that it was once used by 'Kelly' the outlaw to hide from the authorities.
P.S if You do venture in - and you find a small beachball, can I have it back plaese ?
If you continue past the cave for another 10 mins or so, you come to a little lake that is wonderfull for a picnic, or if you are feeling brave a spot of skinny-dipping.