Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments

Glennafallia - Cairn

Glennafallia - Cairn

Glennafallia cairn is located just inside the border with county Tipperary and on the summit of Knocknafallia which is part of the Knockmealdown mountain range

This remote mountain top monument at an altitude of 660 meters (2,165 feet), is among Waterford’s most westerly cairns and also one of its most unique.

The prehistoric stone pile here has a diameter of 12 meters and ranges in height from 0.8 – 1.2 meters in height with a hollowed out centre. Its most notable features are the ten surviving kerbstones which are clearly visible. Each alternate stone is set radially with the others set along the circumference. Also, on the south - east edge, there is an exposed burial Cist which is 1 metre in width. On the north – western side there is a slanted standing stone measuring just 1 metre in height. Whether this is the original angle of the stone when first erected is unknown, but its top surface is parallel to the ground which might indicate that this angular profile was intentional.


From the site the views are truly spectacular with magnificent vistas that take in the entire range of the Comeragh mountains to the east, to the north west the 794 metre peaked summit of Knockmealdown while to the right a broad magnificent western panorama stretches to the horizon.

Interestingly, the three summits of Glenafallia, Knockmealdown and Crohaun form an almost straight line in a south eastern direction.

This is another of Waterford's 'must see' monuments. However, it’s a very steep climb, so only those with a high level of fitness and without any heart or respiratory conditions should contemplate taking it on.


The exposed Cist and the summit of Knockmealdown in the background



View from the East



Directions: From Cappoquin take the R669 signposted for Mount Mellery. After 4.5 km and just after passing Mount Mellery Abbey, turn right. Follow this road through the valley for about 5km till you reach a parking place on the left just under the mountain. Walk from here, following the track upwards till you reach a rough track that runs along the base of the mountain and south along the top of the forestry plantation. From here you can commence the climb.


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