Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments
In over 70% of Standing Stones their long axis is aligned in a NE-SW direction.
County Waterford has one of the most remarkable collections of Ogham inscriptions found in Ireland
There is over 30,000 Ring Forts listed on Ordnance Survey maps in Ireland.
The largest concentration of Standing Stones in Waterford are in the east of the county
‘Druid’s Altar’ was a common name for Dolmens in Ireland.
In Waterford, there are two standing stones which are located in residential areas.
These are Gibbet Hill in Waterford City and Tramore West in Tramore.
The term "Megalith" means "great stone" which is derived from the Greek words "megas" ('great') and "lithos" ('stone')
Thanks to satellite imagery, it has been discovered recently that some dolmens stand on a perfect line in the Alps. Despite the mountains, it was noticed the perfection of the line of 5 dolmens in 5 different valleys, all on one perfect line.
Currently there are five ruined or collapsed Portal Tombs (Dolmens) in Waterford.
'Monolith' and 'Menhir' are other words used to describe single Standing Stones
French Archaeologist Paul Tournal first used the French word “Préhistorique” in 1831 after finding items made by man over 10,000 years ago in France.
The most recent Archaeological Survey of county Waterford was completed and published in 1999
Many Passage Tombs are referred to locally as " The Giant's Grave"
Ogham inscriptions found in Waterford are thought to bear the names of people who once lived in the county.
Waterford’s tallest Standing Stone is at Ballymote and is 3.7 meters tall.
The capstone of Brownshill dolmen in Co. Carlow is believed to be the largest in Europe, weighing a massive 103 tons.
The sites of three Waterford monuments make up a precise equilateral triangle.
Matthewstown passage tomb, Carrickavrantry wedge tomb and Ballinaclough standing stone form a triangle with all sides of equal measurement of 2.3 km.
A vast ‘stone’ henge, on a scale larger than Stonehenge in England once existed at Ballynahattin in Co. Louth. It has now disappeared but was visible as a cropmark from aerial photographs taken in 1970.
Waterford’s passage-tombs bear much similiarity to those found in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.
The highest Standing Stone in Waterford is “The Stone Man”on Coumaraglin mountain which is located at an elevation of 518 metres (1,700 ft).
Mothel carved stone - Waterford's finest example of Rock Art, was originally found in Mothel but is now exhibited at University College Cork.
Ireland's tallest Dolmen (4.5m) is Kilmogue or "Leach Na Scail" near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
Scottish engineer and scientist Prof. Alexander Thom, concluded that the builders of Europe's most significant pre-historic constructions had used a standard unit of measurement known as the Megalithic Yard ( 1 MY = 2.72 ft or 82.96 cm )
There are up to 4,500 known examples of Fulacht Fiadh ( prehistoric cooking sites) in Ireland. The word “Fulacht” means “cooking pit” while “Fiadh” may mean "of the deer" which would suggest the type of animal the people hunted and subsequently cooked.
A Rock Outcrop at Monvoy, Tramore which was a source of Rhyolite, was excavated in 1986 when over 10,000 artefacts including cores, blades, flakes and retouched Neolithic tools were found.
Haroldstown Dolmen in County Carlow was lived in during the time of Ireland's Great Famine in the 19th century.
The ancient Greeks used the word "archaeology" over 2,000 years ago. The word "archaeology" comes from two ancient Greek words: ‘archaios’ meaning ancient or old, and ‘logos’, which means word or speech.
The Rudston monolith in Yorkshire, England is the tallest Standing Stone in the British Isles standing at 7.6 meters (25 feet). Remarkably, the stone weighing a massive 26 tons, was transported from Cayton Bay which is 10 miles away.
Life expectancy in Prehistoric Ireland may have only ranged from 25 – 40 years.
The world's largest Stone Circle can be found at Avebury in Wiltshire, England measuring 427m (1401ft) in diameter.
Read about this impressive Standing Stone
Waterford's tallest standing stone is located 5 km from Tramore. The impressive stone measures 3.7m in height. See it Here
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