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KNOCKMAREE LINKARDSTOWN GRAVE, COUNTY DUBLIN
This Linkardstown Tomb is located on top of a small, natural ridge, north of the Upper Glen Road and a keeper's
cottage and west of St. Mary's Hospital in the Phoenix Park which is just north of Chapelizod, 'Seipeal Iosoid'.
The tomb, dating from 3,5000 - 3,000 BC, is marked on the OSI map as 'Cist', on the Historic map as 'Cromlech'
and is also known as 'Knockmaridhe' , 'Knockmary Dolmen' & 'Cnoc-Maraidhe' or 'Hill of the Mariners'. The
water worn capstone, said to have come from the River Liffey, 'An Life', nearby, is 1.96m in length, 1.05m in
width and 0.33m in depth and is supported 0.35m above present ground level by four slabs ( 0.80m - 0.35m in
width ) and a modern concrete pillar for stability. The chamber, which is below the ground level, measures 1.2m
in length by 0.60m in width, with a floor of compacted clay. Inside the chamber were found two almost complete,
male skeletons aged 40 & 50 in the crouched position, a flint knife, shell necklace and a bone toggle. A small
section of the capstone is missing and on top are several cup-marks that maybe natural. The tomb was discovered
in 1838 by workmen who were employed by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, to remove an ancient
tumulus which measured fifteen feet in height, and 120 feet in circumference. In the outer part of this mound
there were found four small stone cists, each of which contained an urn of baked clay and food vessels, two of
which were bowls, in which were pieces of burnt bone and ashes. This remaining tomb was in the centre of the
tumulus and no passage leading to it was recorded. Ryan in 1981 has classified this monument as a Linkardstown-
type burial of Late Neolithic date. William C. Borlase, in his book “The Dolmens of Ireland” Vol. 2 (1897),
ponders whether this tomb is the same type as those found in Carrowmore. He wrote: “In the town-land of
Chapelizod, a part of Phoenix Park is a dolmen marked Cromlech. It is usually called Knockmary. Another
smaller one, and also a cist, were discovered not far distant from it, both of which have been removed. The mound
which contained this dolmen was situated on an elevation, but had ‘long since been removed’ in 1852, and the
small dolmen which it covered is all that now remains. No traces of a passage leading from the exterior to the
central chamber are now apparent, and it is impossible to say whether such existed or not, and also whether a
circle surrounded it. The resemblance of the structure, as it stands, to dolmens enclosed in tumuli of the
Carrowmore type, leads us to think it more likely than not that these features once existed. If this were not the
case, it would form a link between two classes of monument, namely, the open passage dolmen, and the cist wholly
surrounded and closed in by its tumulus of earth or cairn of stones”.
KNOCKMAREE LINKARDSTOWN GRAVE, COUNTY DUBLIN
ARTEFACTS FROM KNOCKMAREE
FOOD VESSEL FROM KNOCKMAREE
CINERARY URN FROM KNOCKMAREE
DRAWING by BORLASE of KNOCKMAREE
Drawing of Knockmaree by William C. Borlase
Artefacts found at
Knockmaree
Food vessel from
Cinerary urn from
Knockmaree
The above text & images are from the book ‘Of Druids Altars & Giants Graves’