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Glendruid

Portal Tomb

<b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryanerImage © Ryaner
Also known as:
  • Brennanstown Dolmen
  • Cabinteely Dolmen

Nearest Town:Bray (6km SE)
OS Ref (IE):   O229242 / Sheet: 50
Latitude:53° 15' 13.78" N
Longitude:   6° 9' 31.26" W

Added by FourWinds

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Photographs:<b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by CianMcLiam Artistic / Interpretive:<b>Glendruid</b>Posted by Rhiannon <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by Rhiannon <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by Jane <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by Jane <b>Glendruid</b>Posted by Jane

Fieldnotes

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Parking on the Brennanstown road is now impossible and I hadn't felt like asking at Dolmen House for permission to park the car AND go through their garden, so I was left to wonder and research an alternative route. There has been a fair bit of development in the area since I was last here 14 years ago. A friend who grew up in the locality gave me a few hints, but none came to fruition – he hasn't lived there for years. So with a bit of time and google maps I took a risk and leaped another field gate, south-east of the site at Lehaunstown Lane.

The dolmen is well known and marked on google maps so I was able to trek through the field in its general direction before picking up a track that leads north, down into the valley. You must pass through another old gate, into the broadleaf forest and onto a pathway that runs down to the stream and then west alongside the southern edge of the stream. Ignore the bridge you encounter on reaching the valley floor – there is no way through from there. Pass further along for about 200 metres until you reach a fairly obvious ford in the stream. Cross here.

The dolmen was still not in sight yet but the anticipation was rising. The track from the stream to the tomb is well-used and we surmounted the fallen tree and rounded the bend and there it is. Even LM was impressed. The capstone immediately draws your attention. The flat plane of the north-west corner is striking. The whole of the capstone has been obviously sculpted, its underside completely flat. Estimated at 60 tons, the mind boggles at the effort to first sculpt and then raise it.

Knowing that it remains standing by the grace of some serious reinforcing concrete doesn't detract from its magnificence. The portals support the heavier end and are taller than they look from first glance – the ground level of the chamber is well below the field level and both stones are well embedded. The southern sidestone is collapsing into the chamber, rescued from inundation and possible obliteration by the concrete. Both it and its northern counterpart are immense. The concrete reinforcing abuts the northern sidestone and takes the weight of the capstone here, the stepped sculpting of the sidestone visible.

We’re not supposed to climb these monuments, but Glendruid is irresistible. The turtle-backed capstone has a curved runnel that goes from corner to corner and may have been carved to let water run off the sides, away from the rear of the chamber. The slope from back to front is quite steep, mild vertigo kicking in for me and reminding me I’m not as young as I used to be. The dimensions of the stone are 5.1 metres long by 4.5 metres wide and the almost square plan of the thing is apparent from a few angles and especially so from on top of its front end.

We stayed a while here today in the heat of a mid-September Indian summer, undisturbed and carefree. The depths of the steep-sided valley floor shield you from the wiles of the suburbs for a while and you can imagine a time before complication, sheltered by the sturdiness of Glendruid’s accomplishment. But then you have to ascend, the pull of an ice-cream on an 11-year-old mind irresistible.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
18th September 2020ce
Edited 28th September 2020ce

Deceptively small as you approach, you catch a glimpse of it through the trees at the top of the hill. As you scamble down the slope into the intimacy of the tiny valley below you become aware of the sound of the babbling of a brook just behind it, and the dolmen seems to enlarge in front of your very eyes!

And suddenly it becomes massive, significant and overwhelming. The capstone is vast and completely flat on its underside and front aspect. Some of the support stones have been stepped in order for the angle of the capstone to be just-so. And its deep too. the chamber at least two feet below the level of the ground surrounding. We sat, and looked and looked. I drew, and despite the cold and I couldn't resist painting the beast directly. It took ages for the paint to dry, but the result was worth it.

Feelings? You know that little tingle of excitement...

Ah! This really is the dolmen of my dreams - and HUGE thanks to the delightful Four Winds for taking me there.
Jane Posted by Jane
16th February 2003ce

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George Eastman House Archive


An old photo of Glendruid by an unidentified photographer. Sadly the photo is undated, but it's on a glass transparency, which gives an idea of when it was taken.
Kammer Posted by Kammer
10th June 2004ce