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Brownshill Dolmen

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Hacketstown Road (R726), Carlow, Republic of Ireland

The mysterious and majestic Brownshill Dolmen has captured the imagination of visitors for centuries. Located 3km east of Carlow town, the capstone of this impressive megalithic tomb is believed to be the largest in Europe, weighing some 103 tonnes.

The prehistoric Brownshill portal tomb or dolmen is an unmistakable monument to the east of Carlow town, dating back to prehistoric times. Located on Hacketstown Road and surrounded by quiet meadows, it’s a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike in Ireland.

Its date of construction has been estimated at between 4,900 and 5,500 years ago and experts believe religious rites were performed at the site. It may also have served as a form of border marker, but whatever its original purpose, today the Brownshill Dolmen represents a tangible link between the present and the past.

Its magnificent granite capstone, weighing about 103 tonnes, has excited the interest of historians and antiquarians for centuries. An enormous slab sits on two portal stones which flank a door stone and slopes downwards to the west, where it rests on a low boulder. Visit the Brownshill Dolmen to truly experience a piece of prehistoric Ireland in all its glory.