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


Burial Chamber


Some workmen were levelling a new road in Phoenix Park when they found four 'vases' containing half-burnt bones and ashes. Later, and presumably nearby, the older remains of a tomb were found: "--a large slab of limestone, as is was taken rough from the quarry, supported by six lesser stones, forming a cromlech... and surrounded on all sides by a quantity of lesser stones, evidently taken from the bed of the Liffey."

The President of the Royal Irish Academy was called to see it, and, "When the earth was removed... it was found to contain the skeletons of two human beings, nearly perfect, with the tops of the finera of another, and a single bone of an animal, supposed to be that of a dog...

One of the most remarkable circumstances was, that under the head of each body was found a quantity of shells common to our sea coast, the
nerita littoralis, rubbed down on the valve with a stone to make a second hole, with a view to their being strung as a necklace, and the root of some tree or shrub was found stringing them together. There was a single shell, a troolius, also found, with the pearly covering on it as if it had been recently found on the sea shore..."

There was also a flint arrowhead and a 'fibula of bone, supposed to be the fastening of one of the necklaces'. The mound was originally an impressive 15 feet high.

(From the Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, May 25th 1838.)

The 'Handbook of Irish Antiquities' by W F Wakeman
unfortunately regrets that the stones "should be suffered to remain a prey to every wanderer in the Park desirous of possessing a "piece of the tomb," in order to shew it as a wonder..." - let's hope people have stopped chipping bits off.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th December 2008ce
Edited 27th December 2008ce

Comments (2)

Hi, I'm doing an archaeology project as part of the second year of my degree and this is one of my sites that I'm including.
I'm just letting you know that the location you have written for this entry is actually incorrect.
Knockmaroon Hill is actually about a mile away from this location in the Park. My father grew up 10 mins from this site and he confirmed that this hill is actually a separate place from the name you have here. Knockmaroon is actually over by the Glen Pond in the Phoenix Park which is about a mile from there.
This place is in the historical record as the Hill of the Mariners- although locally it has a different name.
Just to let you know. :)
Posted by CathyK
1st April 2013ce
Hi Cathy,

sites are usually put here giving their townland as their name. The Archaeological database gives Dublin North City as the townland here.

I've added the Hill of the Mariners as an alternative name.

Good luck with your project
ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st April 2013ce
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