Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments

Pembrokestown Motte

Pembrokestown Motte

Pembrokestown Motte or Tumulus is only a short walking distance from one of Waterford’s best known megalithic sites, Gaulstown. However, despite its close proximity to the Portal Tomb it remains relatively unknown and would be seldom visited by those coming to see the Gaulstown monument.

The earthen construction, which is beautifully located on a west facing slope, commands fine views of the surrounding countryside. It is practically joined to the field bank which runs along the road and with its overgrown tress and scrub, is easy enough to overlook as one passes by.

The flat topped mound is 10 metres in diameter at the top and 22.5 at the base. It ranges in height from 3.8 meters at the south to 5 metres at its northern end and is defined by a flat bottomed fosse which is 2 – 2.5 metres in width.

In the same field, down the slope, is a large earthfast rock (foreground above) and below this a lovely quiet rippling stream.


Moated sites were usually designed to hold water. However, it’s unclear if Pembrokestown once had a water defence or not. Its location on the side of a hill (above) also brings this into question. The creation of its fosse may have just been a by-product of the building of the earthen mound.


Western section of the earthen mound


The fosse at the northern end


Directions:  From Waterford City journey on the N25 ( Cork Rd) till you see a left turn for Tramore. Travel on this (R682) and at the second crossroads turn right where signposted for Gaulstown Dolmen. Continue for about 1.5km till you see a sign for the Gaulstown Dolmen. From here it’s just another 400 metres down the road to where the Motte is on the right side of the road.


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Other sites in this area - Gaulstown Portal Tomb and Cist


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Ballyquin Portal Tomb

A delightfully situated monument

Read about Here


Tallest 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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