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Heritage Ireland

Knockroe Passage Tomb

A passage tomb dating back to the age of Newgrange

Unguided sites

Knockroe
Kilkenny

Knockroe Passage Tomb

A passage tomb dating back to the age of Newgrange

Unguided sites

Knockroe
Kilkenny

Notice

Knockroe Passage Tomb is a state-owned free National Monument in the care of the Office of Public Works

Knockroe Passage Tomb

Knockroe, known locally as ‘The Caiseal’ is a Neolithic passage tomb dating to approximately 3,000BC. The tomb is one of a group of cairns located in this region, some of which are intervisible and aligned with the large mound on the summit of Slievenamon in County Tipperary.  The monument is positioned along a south-western facing slate ridgeline overlooking the Lingaun River, a tributary of the Suir.

Knockroe is distinctive for a number of reasons including its extensive assemblage of megalithic art consisting of more than thirty decorated stones positioned in the two chambers and kerb.  Another interesting feature is the midwinter alignment of the two tombs (east and west) to the rising and setting sun on the 21st December.  While the passage tomb at Knockroe is considerably smaller than the large tumulus excavated at Knowth in the Boyne Valley in County Meath, similarities in form have been identified by archaeologists.

Archaeological excavation at Knockroe has revealed evidence for multiple burials of cremated human remains within the chambers.  A wide range of artefacts, interpretable as grave goods, were found within the cremation deposits including pottery vessels, bone and antler pin fragments, bone bead fragments, pendants and spacer beads.  Further archaeological investigation in the vicinity of the passage tomb has revealed cobbling and other indications of activity in the area during a later period, probably medieval times.

The ongoing programme of conservation work at Knockroe followed archaeological excavation and research.  The cairn has been reinstated towards the northern side of the monument and stabilised to ensure its long-term preservation.

Visit Historic Environment Viewer for more information on Knockroe

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This national monument is protected in accordance with the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014

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