The Ballykeel portal tomb, locally known as ‘The Hag’s Chair’ is a beautiful example of a tri-pod dolmen and dates from between 4000 and 2500 b.c. When it was excavated in 1963, plain and decorated neolithic pottery was found alongside flint stones and a cist type burial. The cap-stone is over 9 feet long and has a notch carved into it which is similar to others found in the north of Ireland. This was undoubtedly an important ancient monument as excavations revealed that it was also surrounded by a huge cairn of stones which measured 90 feet long X 30 feet wide which is quite unusual. Most of this cairn has disappeared however 2 parallel lines of carefully set stones are still visible which define the edges. It is located in the historic ‘Ring of Gullion’ which is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. This dolmen is classified as a State Care Neolithic Monument and is the only portal tomb in Northern Ireland that has been re-erected.
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