Poulnabrone Dolmen and Portal Tomb is one of the most Dramatic megalithic sites in Ireland, it has superb sculptured form and is easily access from the road.
During the summer months it must be one of the most visited dolmens in the country. The day I visited and took these pictures it was overcast and grey, so there was less visitors than I can imagine at other times. When the site was excavated in 1986 they found some human remains some 16 adults and children plus some of their artifacts, together they dated the tomb to around 3600 B C.
The entrance some 2 meters high faces north, The capstone is tilted at the usual angle for a Doland of this type, it measures about 3 1/2 metres long and some 2 metres wide.
The name Poulnabrone means ‘ the hole of the sorrows’ There are many other interesting sites near poulnabrone including the Wedge tomb at Gleninsheen and Baur South and the Stone Fort at Caherconnell.
Situated on Karst limestone, in a field east of the Ballyvaughan – Corrofin Road the Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Irelands more accessable megalithic structures.
Sunday with Kilkenny’s ancient stones and tombs
Earlier in the year I posted this article about the kilmogue portal Tomb , Located Near Harristown , County Kilkenny.
Sitting at the end of a short path near Harristown, county kilkenny, it is a 6000 year old tomb, know nationally at the Kilmogue Portal Tomb but locally as, “Leac an Scail” – stone of the warrior/hero in English.
This tomb however has become just the first of many ancient remains I feel I have found in this small area of County Kilkenny, since I posted the above post in April (2014).
The above is a map of a wooded area located above the Kilmogue Portal Tomb, Harristown, Kilkenny.
When back in April when I re-visited the portal tomb, I took a good look at its surroundings, its a dairy farming area with some very defined field patterns, I had a very strong feeling that this tomb could not be the only local ancient remains, there just had to be more.
It took some weeks of walking the local roads and wood-lands to find what I was looking for and the above map shows clearly the amount of sites I feel I have now found (Ring forts, standing stones and Tombs), while walking through the above woods there are many different type of megalithic remains.
I visited the another of what I felt was a possible megalithic site last Sunday and this Sunday morning, a collection of Multiple tombs and wanted to share some of the pictures and feeling below.
To get to this location I had to navigate through the trees and get over a wall into the field but once in I was amazed at what I found. There are a total of nine tombs that could as important as the Kilmogue Portal Tomb, they are possible megalithic Court tombs or Portal tombs. I feel that to find so many Tombs in one field is very special and reflects on just how important an area this must have been to the people who lived here over a vast period of time.
I need to keep working on this location and study a lot more as to my possible findings but feel its very exciting to find such a large collection of Tombs in one place.
I did at first wonder if these tombs where just collections of rocks that a farmer in the past had cleared from his fields but on getting closer and spending sometime walking around them, as you can see in the pictures these rocks are very large and in the correct formation and organisation to be Tombs.
They have large rocks forming a boarder with a raised area in the centre, they have a single gap forming an entrance and what looks like smaller grave area inside the tombs themselves. These features fully match the definition of what are defined as court tombs.
You are welcome to have a good looks at the pictures below and form you own impression but for the moment I am very pleased to have found such an impressive ancient location.
The Tombs of Harristown, Kilkenny ; Gallery
Local Standing Stones : Gallery
Kilmogue Portal Tomb
Sitting at the end of a short path near Harristown, county kilkenny, is a six thousand year old tomb, know nationally at the Kilmogue Portal Tomb but locally as, “Leac an Scail” – stone of the warrior/hero in English.
I have visited the site many times and I still find it an amazing location, the site has a sign placed near it that you can see below. It clearly states that the site has never been officially excavated, as is the case for many of these locations in Ireland. From evidence of Tombs constructed in exactly the same way around the European continent it is thought to be some six thousand years old. To put this in context , the great pyramids in Egypt were constructed around 2560 BC, so this tomb is some 1500 years older.
The tomb is constructed with a very large cap stone and side walls and it is hard to imagine just how the cap stone was lifted into place. The stones that can still be witnessed here would however have been surround by a mount of earth that has been long removed or washed away by six thousand years of rain. This earth mount would have been large maybe some 20 meters in diameter. It was likely then that the walls of the tomb were put in place first and supported with wood, then the earth mound constructed and finally the large cap stone rolled up the sides into its place and covered with more earth on top.
It is not known who’s tomb this was but the person buried here must have been considered very important in this Neolithic community, and the tomb would have acted as a place of memory for them and as was the tradition at the time the community would have held ceremonies here.
Each time I have visited I wonder just what these people where like, they were clearly pagan in their beliefs and very close to their surroundings and its nature. Life would have been completely different from the life we know, they lived and moved to the cycles of the seasons, they eat and lived from the wildlife and nature that surrounded them, in some season they would have little food. They most likely had Gods and figure heads yet we have a tendency to place our own modern religious understanding on-to what this meant to them.
It is likely that their Gods were Mythical in nature and derived from memories of real people who Mythically they created with different elements and forces of life and nature that affected the lives they lived.
List wikipedia page lists some of these Gods and Goddesses and shows the forces in life and nature that they related to.
I hope that the images below relate the Tomb and its location, the surrounding Landscape is very rural and one of county Kilkennys biggest dairy farming areas.
Leac an Scail, Image Gallery