The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Howth Demesne

Portal Tomb


Howth Demesne, with its monstrous capstone, has to be one of the unsung greats of Irish tombs (maybe it's not all that unsung, but it feels that way). This was my second visit here and I was once again stunned by the absolute madness of it. I struggled to explain to my companion how it was possible to construct it.
If the capstone did come from Muck Rock cliff (and from where else could it?) and was rolled here, they'd have had to have come past the front of the tomb and rolled it up from the back end as the front of the tomb does point directly at the cliff-face (that is if that's the way portal tombs are constructed). The capstone has been flattened on its underside and at its front, and it's entirely possible that the stone was rolled from Muck Rock, up a platform/ramp at the front of the tomb, which was then removed once the capstone rested on the portals, doorstone, sidestones and backstone, to reveal it in all its majesty.
You can't help but wonder when the capstone fell (if a capstone falls and nobody hears it etc...) and also admire the builders who undertook this project all those years ago. The over 2 metres tall portal stones were a job to erect in themselves. Much of the other structural stones seem to have almost exploded under the weight of the collapsing and collapsed capstone. There's a tiny 'Dolmen' signpost at the back of the golf-course that points the way down the path to the tomb – quiet, understated, and completely the opposite of what it leads to. I love this place.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
24th June 2013ce

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