Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments
Guide to Waterford Monuments
A Passage Tomb consists of a narrow passage made of large stones and one or multiple burial chambers covered in earth or stone. Normally sited in an elevated location, these monuments are believed to date to the Neolithic period of 4500 – 2500 BC.
Along with Portal Tombs (Dolmens), these monuments are among the most intriguing Prehistoric structures. A series of large stones were used in their construction which incorporated a passage, enabling the reuse of the inner chamber for ritual and cremation. Sometimes passage tombs are covered with a stone Cairn, especially those dating to later times. Some tombs like the World Heritage site at Newgrange in Couny Meath are aligned in such a way that the sun shines into the passage at a significant point in the year, such as in this case at the winter solstice (shortest day) when the morning sun travels up the length of the 19 metre passage to spectacularly illuminate the inner chamber.
The passage tombs of Waterford are no longer covered by earth or stone cairns. Nonetheless, these monuments such as Harristown (above) and Mathewstown and are fine examples with their construction bearing much resemblance to those found in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles off South West England.
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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