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Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001

Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Dolmen or Cromlechs are megalithic graves and are found all over Ireland

Ths page contains photos of some of the best dolmen in Co. Down

in Goward townland Kilfeaghan townland Legannany townland in Annadorn townland

 

The megalithic Goward Dolmen

Goward Dolmen in Clonduff parish

This megalithic dolmen or cromlech is in the farmer's field in Goward townland. For a few thousand years farmer's in this area have left it untouched as a mark of respect for the ancient people of this land. Locally known as Pat Kearney's Big Stone or Cloughmore Cromlech.

This was how the chiefs were buried and there are hundreds to be see in Ireland, mostly still in the middle of fields. You can see the two upright granite stones on the right were the entrance to the rectangular chamber. It even suggests a circular facade.. The huge granite capstone has slipped from its original , horizontal position but would have been dragged kilometres to this site , to honour the person.

 

Kilfeaghan Dolmen

Kilfeaghan Dolmen in Kilbroney parish

This megalithic structure is one of many in Ireland which were the burial places of chieftains. It is in a farmer's field in Kilfeaghan townland, near Rostrevor and you can see Carlingford Lough in the background. It is also known as Pat Kearney's Big Stone and Cloughmore Cromlech.

This portal grave has slipped off its third upright so that the capstone (which weighs 35 tons) isn't horizontal anymore. The entrance to the passage grave was between the uprights. You can see the remains of the long cairn underneath it. Bones and pottery belonging to the Neolithic period were found during excavations.

 

The Legananny Dolmen

Legananny Dolmen in Drumgooland parish

This is the best dolmen in Northern Ireland. It's on the slopes of Slieve Croob near the village of Leitrim, nestled between the farmer's stone wall and a back road. It's from the megalithic period of about 5,000 years ago and is the portal grave of a chieftain. The heavy stones would have been dragged some distance before being set in place. The three supporting stones are unusally long and there are slight traces of a cairn which must have been far more extensive. Some urns were found underneath.

 

Annadorn Dolmen

at Buck's Head in Annadorn townland

These ancient stone structures (dolmen) are passage graves from the Megalithic period. The giant stones were dragged to the site and constructed over the grave of a chief. A slightly displaced capstone covers a rectangular chamber of which three side stones survive. An early account suggests that this was formerly set in a large circular cairn and approached by a lintelled passage, so it may be the remains of a passage grave. This dolmen is at the corner of the Annadorn/ Loughinisland road. You can see a part of Loughinisland lake in the background. The lady is myself.

 

by Ros Davies