Fourknocks Megalithic Passage Tomb
Fourknocks Megalithic Passage Tomb Reviews
Step into the Neolithic - from centuries before the pyramids Mar 18, 2008
From the same culture that built the majestic Newgrange Passage Tomb Complex, this lesser known but equally stunning structure is worth a visit.
Fourknocks is a Passage Chamber Tomb built over 5000 years ago. It is located 10 miles southeast of Newgrange between Ardcath in County Meath and the Naul in County Dublin. The name Fourknocks may be from the Irish Fuair Cnocs meaning Cold Hills or maybe Four Cnocs is a reference to the Four Tombs (Four Hills). Only the main tomb (picture attached) has been excavated and is open to the public.
Fourknocks has a short passage leading into a wide pear shaped chamber with three smaller offset chambers. The original roof was probably a wooden structure supported by a central pole. The current concrete roof was constructed in 1952 at the end of a 2 year excavation. Fragments of 65 burials were found in the tomb, both cremated and unburnt remains of adults and children. Decorated Pottery and Vessels and personal ornaments including pendants and beads were also found. All of the items found were moved to the National Museum.
Just inside the main chamber to the left of the entrance is one of the few representations of a human face from the Neolithic Period in Ireland. The Face Stone is about 3 feet high and looks like a prehistoric smiley face.
The key for the entrance door to Fourknocks Passage Tomb can be got from Mr. Fintan White who lives over a mile from the Tomb. Directions are signposted from Fourknocks. A cash deposit must be given which is refundable on the safe return of the key. The key should be returned before 6pm.
Two more Passage Tombs in the next field are overgrown with grass and furze bushes. There is no public access to these Monuments from the main Tomb with a "No Through Access" sign to discourage visitors from climbing over the fence.
This site has been beautifully re-assembled and (in my view) has an even greater emotional presence, maybe due to its smaller scale, that Newgrange. The reconstruction is well executed and the play of natural light channeled through chutes is first class and a poetic play on the solstice illumination at the bigger and more famous site.
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