Broomfield Dolmen

Broomfield Dolmen, Donard (collapsed)
J Butler C 2020
Brownshill_Dolmen, Co. Carlow
Commons

A dolmen is a portal tomb dating from the Neolithic period.  The dolmen described here is in a field on private land on the right side of the road from Donard to Annalecky Cross.  Originally, it had a large capstone on top supported by 3 big upright boulders leaving a small chamber beneath.  This chamber held the cremated remains of the deceased.  A cairn may have surrounded it but no trace of this remains.

Pagan symbols

Unfortunately, the dolmen is in a ruinous state today.  The 4 boulders now lie close to the boundary wall of the field.  There are 2 stories told about it’s destruction.   Firstly, that the capstone was pushed over by 3 men from the local Mill for a wager.  Secondly, that a religious fanatic who had a strong desire for the destruction of all pagan symbols had the capstone thrown down.

Brittas and Knockree

There are 3 Dolmens in all of county Wicklow.  Besides Broomfield, there is one at Brittas on the east coast and another near Knockree in the Glencree Valley also on the east coast.

Estimated to weigh 100 tons

Some of the Dolmen capstones are impressive e.g. the Brownshill Dolmen just outside Carlow town is estimated to weigh 100 tons.

P.T. Walshe:  The Antiquities of Dunlavin-Donard District, Journal of the Royal Society  of Antiquiries of Ireland.  Vol LXI. 1931

The Stationary Office, Dublin 1977.  Archaeological Inventory of Co. Wicklow.

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