Passage Tomb

The passage tomb at Knockroe has been under going several years of excavation, these excavations have been led by Muiris O' Sullivan from the Department of Archaeology at UCD. At present access to the site could not be easier. The monument known locally as 'The Caiseal' has two passages on the southern side. The eastern passage, seen in the foreground of the image below, has a cruciform chamber with a sill stone towards the front of the passage.

In the large image below you can see some of the very large kerbstones on the southern side arcing around to the western passage and also some of the quartz that is scattered around the site. At first this site did not look too impressive as there were many plastic bags visible under a lot of the stones.

Western chamber

Eastern chamber

Although the western passage has a more simple shape it is more interesting in that it has an alignment to the winter solstice and on both sides of the entrance are several large graded orthostats that give the impression of a court when viewed from the front. My first impressions of the monument changed the moment I looked up through the western passage at the decorated stones forming the chamber.

The image below shows the art work on one of these stones that is compared to the designs at Gavrinis in Brittany, France. All around we started to notice several more designs on other stones in fact both of these chambers and the kerbstones are richly decorated with rock art, but due to weathering the art work on the eastern passage and the kerbstones is not that obvious without suitable light.

Passage tomb art

Passage tomb art

Looking into the passage

Situated: From Carrick-on-Suir take the R697 north for 10 kilometres then take a left turn for Knockroe, take a right at the T-Junction and then a left down a small lane to a farmyard. Ask to park here and walk straight down the lane until you come to the tomb on your left.

Discovery Map 67: S 4081 3130. Last visit July 2017.

Longitude:  7° 23' 60" W

Latitude: 52° 25' 54" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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