The Kilclooney Dolmen

12 August 2007 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

The Kilclooney Dolmen

The Kilclooney Dolmen is a fine example of a Neolithic Portal tomb. Built during the middle of the fourth millennium by a people who were farming the land and rearing stock, the portal tombs were the first examples of collective burial. Their size indicatest that they represent the burial site of an important member of local society. 

Portal tombs consist of a massive roofstone resting on two uprights, with a supportive backstone. Originally there would have been other slabs of stone creating a walled in effect, but these are usually missing.

Some evidence suggests that the dolmen or portal-tomb was surrounded by a cairn, a mound of earth, with more than one tomb included in the cairn. There is a second, smaller portal tomb at the Kilclooney More site. 

Dolmens are also commonly known as “Diarmuid and Grania’s Bed”, referring to the legend of the two lovers who journeyed around Ireland to escape the vengence of the great Fionn McCool and his Fianna. Many dolmens are claimed to mark the site of where the rwo runaways slept on their travels.

Kilclooney Dolmen is a particularly impressive example with the roofstone measuring 4.2 metres. The entrance (the highest point beneath the roof stone) is 5 metres. 

Both Dolmens are located behind Kilclooney Chapel and are reached by a rough pathway that starts between the back wall of the church and a house situated to the left. Please keep in mind that the Dolmens are on private land.


Entry filed under: dolmen, Kilclooney, neolithic.

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