Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments



Harristown passage tomb is superbly located with wonderful panoramic views of  the Waterford estuary, Tramore Bay and the distant Comeragh mountains.

Situated on the east side of a sandstone hill known as “Carrick a Dhirra” it is located about 1.5km north of the fishing village of Dunmore East. The tomb is probably the most impressive of a group of Waterford passage-tombs which bear much similarity to those found on the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall in south-west England.

The wedge-shaped passage/chamber is just over 6 metres long and the partial doubling of the side walls shows some influence from wedge-tombs. The rear of the chamber is 1.3 metres wide and is closed off by a large septal slab. Only two roof-stones survive, one over the chamber and the other near the beginning of the passage which opens (1.05 metres wide) in an ENE direction over a low sill-stone.

The site was excavated in 1939 by renowned British archaeologist  Jaquetta Hawkes, when the cremated remains of two individuals and a stone pendant were found in the passage.

Other finds included food vessels, a pigmy cup, bronze blade, stone bead, a razor and bone pins. The tomb is surrounded by what seems to be the remains of its cairn, a Kerb of uprights which measures 10 meters in diameter. The Hawkes excavation also revealed a number of secondary burials dating to the Bronze Age.


Jacquetta Hawkes and Harristown   Read the Article



           View looking east                                            A section of kerb on south-east side



Directions: Take the R684 from Waterford City for Dunmore East. After passing the Belle Lake on your right (at 6km) turn left at the next crossroads and travel to the next crossroads called the ‘Fairybush’ crossroads. Go straight through here and after about 600m you will see a track on the left. Follow this track (with transmitter masts directly in front) till you reach a gate on the left.Walk across and upwards on the ridge to the far end to find the tomb. To locate, it you will see the first kerbstone on the skyline.


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Tallest Stone


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 Website last updated 

14 July 2018



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