Donegal

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Kilclooney Dolmen

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Ardara, Donegal, Republic of Ireland
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The Kilclooney Dolmen is an exceptionally fine portal-tome or dolmen, prominent on the skyline 6.5km north-north-west of Ardara in County Donegal.

The Kilclooney Dolmen is a portal-tome or dolmen, prominent on the skyline north-north-west of Ardara. It well displays the classic features from which this type of monument derives its name.

The matched portal stones and gracefully up tilted capstone (nearly 6m long and one of the largest in Ireland) that stretch over the chamber entrance convey a sense of architectural awareness on the part of the builders. Its streamlined profile has inspired numerous analogies: perhaps a bird, a fish, Concord...depending on the imagination of the observer.

The tomb is substantially complete. A low sill-stone set between the 2m high portals closes off the chamber entrance. The lower end of the capstone does not rest directly on the back-stone as is usually the case but is supported instead by a small intermediate stone whose function may have been to give increased height to the chamber.

Fragments of undecorated Neolithic pottery were the only recorded finds.

A short distance west of this tomb is another similar construction but on a very much smaller scale. It is now partly collapsed. A modern field wall separates the two, which were evidently mounded over by the same east-facing cairn, traces of which remain.