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Brownshill Dolmen, Carlow

4.4
#3 of 12 in Things to do in Carlow
Monument Tourist Spot
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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Reviews
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108 reviews
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4.5
  • Really enjoyed my visit to the Brownshill Dolmen. It is such a peaceful place located as it is in the middle of a cornfield. There's a decent sized car park by the roadside and display boards both the...  more »
  • The dolmen is over 5000 years old & has the largest capstone in Europe. It is close to Carlow town, has a small off-road carpark & small, simple information boards.  more »
  • Brought our two grandsons here on a day out. It's very impressive to look at the boys were having great discussions about how they built it without modern tools. Well worth a look.  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • Great for the kids. They love to climb it.
  • 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
  • It's a big rock in a farmers field. Cool, but dont drive too far out of your way! lol
  • When your there you just feel wonder and fulfillment.. Magical energy magnification stone full of healing crystals you feel great when your their amazing worth the trip.

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