Aughnacliffe Portal Tombs
Aughnacliffe Portal Tomb is one of four portal tombs in Co. Longford, along with that nearby at Cleenrath, and two others Birrinagh (Moyne), and Melkagh (Drumlish).
It is known locally as the ‘Aughnacliffe Dolmen’ and is the only example easily accessible by the public.
A pathway leads from the village of Aughnacliffe to this impressive megalithic tomb located in a shallow valley, among the rolling hills of north Longford.
This monument is unusual in that it has two capstones or roofstones, as similar portal tombs and dolmens typically have only one. The smaller capstone measures 1.7 metres by 2.20 metres and is 1.7 metres thick.
The higher, larger capstone is far more substantial, measuring 3.2 metres in length and 2.3 metres in width, and is a testament to the engineering skills of the time. The capstones are supported by smaller stones at the base.
The tallest of these were the portal stones in the front, which were up to 2 metres in height which would have formed an impressive entrance to the tomb. However one of these portal stones is now lost. Internally is a small space, measuring 2 metres by 0.6 metres, which would have functioned as the burial chamber.
Along with the nearby portal tomb at Cleenrath, the monument also has a traditional connection with the ancient legend of Diarmaid and Gráinne. It is believed to be one of their resting spots on their flight from Gráinne’s fiancé, the legendary hero Fionn MacCumhaill.
The monument is on private farmland, but is accessible by foot, following an informal pathway. Please note that there may be animals and livestock on the land – ensure that gates are closed behind you.
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