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

Kilranelagh Graveyard

Standing Stones


Kilranelagh Graveyard, in the wilds of Wicklow, has lots of ancient structures, not all prehistoric, but still ancient. They're continuing to bury people here, and after what must have been centuries of neglect, the place is very well looked after and obviously well loved by its carers.

The stones that we are interested in are very neolithic looking, like the entrance portals and sillstone of a small passage grave, its last remnants, the rest now long gone. Yet these remain, and you're supposed to pass the coffin between them before burial.

Nearby, within the graveyard, is a holy well, St. Brigid's of course. Out the gate to the south, the setting sun bathes Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs in an orange glow. Leaving I came across two graves, one with a very rough-hewn stone with no inscription but with a small toy gun and 2 toy motorbikes, the other, the last resting place of Clive Mervyn Wynne, died 2nd April, 1976, age 6 weeks. This is a place of power and peace and of sadness.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th August 2014ce
Edited 14th August 2014ce

Comments (2)

These were in Archaeology Ireland recently (Summer 2012) and they were described as the original entrance into "the sacred space of an early Irish church enclosure".
They do look a lot like the remains of a megalithic tomb of some sort alright. However it does seem that some enclosures and ring-forts did have stone entrances.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
14th August 2014ce
I'm not convinced either way. I've seen raths and enclosures with stone entrances, but none of them were like this, and I've seen prehistoric tomb entrances that were very like this. The whole area is laden with ancient cairns and Boleycarrigeen is a half hour walk around the other side of Colvinstown Hill.

He does leave it open to doubt in the article, and I'd be happy to concur, giving this site a disputed antiquity label until a definitive excavation proves otherwise.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th August 2014ce
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