Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Brownshill Dolmen Co Carlow

                                    Above Image: Entrance to lane in corner

                                  Above Image: A section of the entrance lane

                                           Above Image: Portal entrance

                              Above & Below Images: Views of the chamber area

                                     Above Image: The enormous capstone

This massive remnant of the early Neolithic age has to be seen to be believed. The Brownshill Dolmen derives its name from the hill on which it stands in the former estate of the Browns on which it is located. It is also known as the Kernanstown Cromlech. Actually in fact it is the remains of a portal tomb and it has two large orthostats at the entrance to the chamber to attest to this. It is most likely to have been constructed by early settlers sometime between 4000BC and 3000BC
The huge Dolmen can be seen from the roadside and is accessed by way of a long narrow lane that leads you directly to the site. The massive capstone weighing well in excess of 100 tonnes and thought to be one of if not the largest of its kind in Europe is just awesome. It slopes downward from the entrance where it rests on some boulders at the rear. How it was placed must have taken a lot of effort on the part of man and animal to achieve the goal. Once constructed this now massive structure would have been buried under an earthen mound with just the entrance showing and a large boulder placed in front. The large entrance stone is still to be seen today. We were visiting Carlow Castle (see earlier post) and decided to make a diversion to take in this impressive site so it is well worth your time if in the area to take time to pay a visit.
To find the Dolmen take the M9 motorway to Waterford and exit at junction 5 for the N80 to Carlow. At the top of the ramp turn right on the roundabout and cross the bridge over the motorway. Go straight through the next roundabout on the other side and follow the N80 for approx. 3KM until you reach yet another roundabout. Turn left at this roundabout and a few yards later take a turn right onto Link road. (There’s a building at the junction with an odd wooden door not unlike a Hobbit door!). Follow this road through a crossroads and you will reach a T-Junction. Turn right at the junction onto the R726 (Hackettstown Rd). Continue along this road for approx. 1KM and you will pass a line of car dealerships on your left. Immediately past these on the right is a parking area. The lane way leading to the Dolmen is in the South corner of this rectangular area.


  1. A great seris of images!

    WARNING: Never leave valuables in your car in the small car-park which is shown. Despite being beside a very busy road, cars have been broken into there!

    1. Thanks for the warning Sean! I was probably fortunate that day. But thanks for letting people know. Thanks also for your kind comments

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi - Love the work. I wonder if you allow people to use your images - with full attribution of course? I am working on a project for a heritage society and we would be very grateful if we were able to include some of your images. I could tell you more about the project if that would help. Maeve

    1. Hi Maeve, thanks for your kind comments. Absolutely no problem using some images. If you could just attribute them to Ireland in ruins that would be great as it promotes the blog. Heritage projects are always very interesting and I would love to hear about yours.