Western Chamber

Knockroe

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 above has a cruciform chamber with a sill stone towards the front of the passage. Also in the image above we 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 does not look too impressive as there are many plastic bags visible under a lot of the stones.

Although the western passage has a more simple design 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. We left this site feeling we would definitely be back in the near future.

Western passage rock art

Looking into western passage

Situated: In the townland of Knockroe County Kilkenny. 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 continue walking straight down the lane until you come to the tomb on your left. Please treat this monument with due respect.

 

Discovery Map 67: S 4095 3131. Last visit April 2007.

Longitude:  7° 23' 52" W

Latitude: 52° 25' 55" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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