Secret of the Browne’s Hill Dolmen

Browne's Hill Dolmen

This interesting dolmen is a ‘portal tomb’ in Ireland dating from the 4th – 5th millennium BC. It is topped by very large granite capstone measuring 4.7m x 6.1m x 2m (15.4 x 20 x 6.5 ft) . The capstone rests on two stones, a door stone and a facedown slab. The Browne’s Hill dolmen is a type of pagan burial monument.

The capstone is said to be the largest in Europe. According to calculations, it weighs around 150 tons.The megalith is named the ‘Browne’s Hill’ dolmen because it is located on a hill on which sits the former estate house of the Browne family.

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The site remains largely unexplored and that’s why so very little is known about this dolmen except that it was once supported by three stones at the front – a gate stone and two portals.

The dolmen stands alone in the middle of a large field, and the stone is not local, suggesting either that it was carried here, or it travelled here during the ice-age. It is known as Browne’s hill Portal Tomb, because the entrance to the burial chamber was flanked by two large upright stones supporting the granite capstone (roof) of the chamber. The granite capstone is thought to have been covered by an earthen mound and a gate-stone blocked the entrance.

The capstone lies on top of the portals and gate-stone, and slopes to the ground away from the entrance. Not much additional information is available on Browne’s hill because it has never been explored. A fourth upright stone stands close by and could be the remains of a forecourt. Unfortunately, the extent of the chamber cannot be determined.

The Browne’s Hill dolmen will likely remain a mystery until future excavations are done.

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