Poulnabrone Dolmen stands like a stark, abstract sculpture in the unique karst landscape of the Burren. The megalithic portal tomb would have originally been covered with earth like its bigger, grander cousin Newgrange in County Meath. Over 5,000 years old, the tomb consists of slabs of rock arranged within an oval cairn. Portal stones and orthostats hold up the slanted capstone with the entrance facing north. The original cracked capstone lays discarded nearby. It was replaced during an excavation in the 1980s. The interior is about four by eight feet.
Poll na mBrón, which means “hole of sorrows” in Irish contained the bones of twenty-two Neolithic people and a Bronze Age infant. Buried with them were a stone axe, beads, pottery shards, a bone pin, arrowheads and quartz crystals. Because of its location in the Burren and near the Cliffs of Moher, the monument is one of Ireland’s most recognizable icons. Located several miles south of Ballyvaughan off the R480, it is visible from he road and there are pull-off areas to park. Free admission year round.
© 2011 Michele Erdvig
“Ireland Travel Expert”
Book: Ireland Dream Trip
Michele’s Irish Shop: www.zazzle.com/irelandyes*
Follow Michele on Twitter