Brownshill Dolmen, Carlow

#4 of 24 in Things to do in Carlow
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Brownshill Dolmen (Dolmain Chnoc an Bhrúnaigh in Irish) is a very large megalithic portal tomb situated 3 km east of Carlow, in County Carlow, Ireland. Its capstone weighs an estimated 100 metric tons, and is reputed to be the heaviest in Europe. The tomb is listed as a National Monument. Known as the Kernanstown Cromlech, sometimes spelled as Browneshill Dolmen, it is sited on the former estate house of the Browne family from which it takes its name.
The tomb was built between 4000 and 3000 BC. It is distinguished for the flanking of its burial chamber with two large upright stones (orthostats) supporting the granite capstone (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.

The dolmen has not been excavated. A nearby fourth upright stone stands close by and might be the remains of a forecourt.
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Brownshill Dolmen reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
165 reviews
  • The sheer size of the gigantic capstone on this dolmen is awe-inspiring. Excellent co-operation between farmer and state to enable full access via walkway from small parking area at the roadside.  more »
  • This is the second time visiting the Dolmen. Signage to get to it is very poor. It is in the middle of a farmers' field!! You dont appreciate the size of it until you are up close! Also it's free.  more »
  • Nice bit of history here. Huge rock nicely balanced. That's about it
  • Plenty of space to park and a short walk to the dolmen. Really tranquil setting with seats available just to sit and marvel at this fascinating ancient structure. Well worth a visit.

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