Knockeen Portal Tomb, Knockeen, County Waterford

The Knockeen Dolmen is one of Ireland’s finest portal tombs. It stands 13-feet high in the middle of a hedgerow bordering two fields and dates from c.4000 BC. It differs slightly in design than others in the area as its large main capstone is set almost level against a secondary capstone. The chambers have therefore been covered and are in an excellent state compared to most. It is quite common that portal tombs face uphill and in this case it is facing northwest towards the mountains. Unlike some other portal tombs in Waterford which had some remedial work carried out, this tomb stands in its original state. A unique feature of the tomb is a small ‘keyhole’ entrance which might have been used to offer food to the spirits or performing rituals. To the north of the field is the old cemetery belonging to Kilburne Church. Some of the gravestones date back to the 1700s. This indicates that this area has been used continuously for burials for thousands of years.