Concern for passage tomb as lecture on it looms

AS concern grows for the future of one of Kilkenny’s most important archaeological sites, a lecture on it will be given on Thursday, November 24.

AS concern grows for the future of one of Kilkenny’s most important archaeological sites, a lecture on it will be given on Thursday, November 24.

The Knockroe Passage Tomb and the mysterious Stone Age of south Kilkenny is the title of the talk ot be given by Muiris O’Suilleabhan, Associate Professor, School of Archaeology, UCD at 8pm in Mullinavat parish hall

Knockroe passage tomb, known locally as “The Caiseal”, is situated beside the Lingaun river at the south-western edge of County Kilkenny and is considered an archaeological site of national importance. Prior to the 1980s little was known about the site but in recent years it has come further into the limelight with a programme of excavation between 1990-1995, by the speaker (Dr O Suilleabhan).

It has long been regarded locally as a place of significance, its mysterious past and its relationship to a wider symbolic landscape accepted as an integral part of local culture. It attracts much interest and in particular at the winter solstice (December 21). The mid-winter alignments of the two chambers, with the east tomb being aligned to the rising sun and the west tomb to the setting sun on Decemer 21st, adds to the significance of the site.

Megalithic art is now recorded on about 30 stones at Knockroe and the presence of these decorated stones places the site in the same league of significance as Newgrange and Knowth in the Boyne Valley.

There is concern for the preservation of the site and in March of this year the Office of Public Works published a conservation plan for the passage tomb, with a view to future intervention to safeguard the monument and site.