Join witches, druids and other mortals at Knockroe passage tomb for winter solstice in Kilkenny

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Historic Winter Solstice at Knockroe Passage Tomb in Kilkenny

Last year at Knockroe in south Kilkenny for the shortest day of the year

Druids, witches, lovers of history, archaeology and Ireland’s mythological past will all converge on Knockroe Passage Tomb on Friday for the winter solstice, which was and is for some, the most important pre-Christian celebration of the year.
Nestled between the hills of the Lingaun Valley on the Kilkenny-Tipperary border, lies Knockroe’s An Caiseal, a Megalithic Passage Tomb, the only Passage Tomb which records both the morning and evening winter solstice events.
The morning solstice occurs at 8.40am while the evening Solstice occurs at 3.40pm.
The Caiseal Conservation Committee, Suir Valley Environmental Group and Lingaun Valley Tourism will be on hand to oversee parking facilities and provide refreshments to visitors, with a guest speaker scheduled to attend.
Returning visitors to Knockroe will notice the new signage at the site and the improvements to the access lane.
Nevertheless for those attending the solstice events at Knockroe, remember it is a rural setting and wellies or good boots would be advised, also plan on arriving early as there is a short walk in to the site.
The Knockroe site which is older than Newgrange, Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt has the greatest number of decorated stones outside the Boyne Valley.
Built more than 5,000 years ago by the first farmers, Knockroe is part of a large collection of interconnected megalithic sites, including Bawnfree, the Kilmacoliver Stone Circle, and the cairn on Slievenamon.
Getting there
To get there you drive to Callan from Kilkenny city and take the road to Carrick-on-Suir.
At the Slate Quarries and opposite Delaney’s pub, you turn right and at the top of the hill with the Slate Quarries on your right, you turn right at the top the hill (not left as I did) and go on a couple of hundred yards before turning right again down a farm yard. It's signposted!