Poulnabrone Dolmen – The Burren County Clare, Ireland

The Burren is an unusual and vast landscape on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare.  At first blush it looks like a green and grey desert with nothing to be seen.  But, like most things, when you look closer you see detail and creativity only mother nature could concoct.  The Burren is primarily cracked limestone whose deeps cracks collect water and are filled with nutrient rich soil which wildflowers and grasses flourish in. The Burren National Park has been created to assist in protecting its multiple dolmens, stone circles/ring forts, caves, and megalithic tombs.

Some time between 4200-2900 BC Neolithic people created the masterpiece Poulnabrone Dolmen.  Dolmens dot the landscape in Ireland but this one is special primarily due to its size subverting the vastness that is the Burren. It is about twelve feet long and about six feet tall.  It is made of stone that is the same color as its surroundings so one could pass right by it without noticing it.  The remains of multiple people have been excavated from beneath the tomb which is typical of them throughout the country.




A closeup of the stone


Meet my nephew Michael enjoying the rain in the way only a kid can!

If you would like this dolmen check out another post on the dramatically large Brownshill Dolmen by clicking here!

Brownshill Dolmen – County Carlow Ireland

There are many things that make visiting the Celtic world interesting.  Dolmen, Burial Mounds, and Stone Circles are certainly some of them.  Fascinating, powerful, energetic, mystical, and unknown.  Archaeologists have spent countless hours digging, researching, taking historical accounts, but we will never truly know what they are about.  And, that is what makes it so interesting…the not knowing.

Brownshill Dolmen is considered a portal tomb.  While that, of course, is unusual and fascinating the true interest with this tomb is its size.  In the photos where people are present you can see how massive it is.  It is one of the largest in the Celtic world.  One must have been able to see this dolmen for miles when walking to it for ceremonial purposes.  But this begs the question…how did they build it?  The rear stone is a giant bolder.  Without modern tools like a trackter or crane it is nearly impossible to behold moving this stone not the mention the smaller yet still large ones that are holding the stone up.  Archaeologists believe it was levered up in small bits then filled with dirt while the larger stones were placed below it.  Then the dirt was removed to leave the large bolder elevated by the smaller stones.  Whatever the method the outcome is spectacular and is a must see if visiting County Carlow Ireland.


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