The Phoenix Park Dolmen

Phoenix Park Dolmen

I have been on the lookout for this particular spot for many months now.
My interest was originally sparked when I happened to see a Neolithic Cist marked on an old map which featured in the truly wonderful book “An Illustrated History Of The Phoenix Park” written by park superintendent John McCullen. I wasn’t entirely sure of its exact location but I did know that is was somewhere just outside the perimeter of the park ranger’s lodge. So my first job was to find the park rangers lodge. Not that difficult in fairness.

My research has led me to believe that this particular cist [or Dolmen as I like to call it] was known as “Knockmary” deriving its name from “Cnoc-Maraidhe” meaning the hill of the mariners. The mound on which the cist sits was originally about 40m in width and was possibly up to 3m in height. The mound was excavated [I don’t know when] and three human remains were found along with several grave goods, including a shell necklace. Unfortunately the cist is the only original element to survive to this day, but still, it’s a wonderful place to just sit and wonder about the history of this particular spot. I must admit it’s a lot smaller than other dolmens that I have seen in this country in the past but it’s still a thing of real beauty.

Imagine having this kind of history just outside your front garden, lucky park ranger eh.

(Comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, please feel free to let me know what you think)


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