Brownshill Dolmen, Carlow

4.4
The Brownshill Dolmen is a megalithic portal tomb situated 3 km east of Carlow, in County Carlow, Ireland. It lies just off the R726 regional road and is clearly visible from the road. The capstone at Brownshill, weighing an estimated 100 metric tons, is reputed to be the heaviest in Europe. The tomb is listed as a National Monument.NameOfficially known as the Kernanstown Cromlech, it is also spelled as Browneshill Dolmen. It is sited on a hill on which sits the former estate house of the Browne family from which the hill takes its name.HistoryIt was built between 4000 and 3000 BC by some of the earliest farmers to inhabit the island. It is also known as Brownshill Portal Tomb, so-called because the entrance to the burial chamber was flanked by two large upright stones (orthostats) supporting the granite capstone, or roof, of the chamber. The capstone is thought to have been covered by an earthen mound and a gate stone blocked the entrance. At Brownshill both portal stones and the gate-stone are still in situ; the capstone lies on top of the portals and gate-stone and slopes to the ground away from the entrance. Not much additional information is available on Brownshill because it has never been excavated. A fourth upright stands close by and could be the remains of a forecourt. The extent of the chamber cannot be determined.
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Brownshill Dolmen Reviews
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  • The Brownshill tomb is between five and six thousand years old. The path is modern and gives easy access to this ancient historic sight. The information signs at the roadside and also at the stones gi...  more »
  • No need to plan too much time around this attraction. It's simple and yet a must see to appreciate that it's almost 5,000 yrs old and one of the heaviest portal tombs in Ireland. If travelling through...  more »
  • If you're nearby, this is worth a detour uiel anyway. Parking is available, one must sacrifice 10 minutes walk. Impressive, as at that time such huge stones there were dragged and could be made even still together.
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  • Truly remarkable monument to visit in Brownshill, Carlow. I would highly recommend for people to go and visit the Dolmen, because you don't realise the shear size of the capstone until you see it in person. A signpost containing historical information in both English and Irish is present. Two small stone benches are also provided at the monument for visitors and there is also free parking and a smooth pathway leading up to the Dolmen. There is really no excuse not to visit this beautiful piece of our heritage!👌😄
  • Brownshill dolmen is astounding. A truly massive hunk of granite (weighing in at over 100 tonnes!) serves as a capstone. The feat of engineering to build this monument (several thousand years ago) beggers belief. Good parking and a path provided to the site. No admission (it sits in the middle of a working field). Worth a visit to understand the size of the dolmen itself!
  • Good for a walk and see something unusual!
  • Amazing Dolmen to see. Apparently the largest capstone in Ireland.
  • Great for the kids. They love to climb it.

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