Knockroe Passage Tomb

Two Chambers with a Dual Solar Alignment

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Crowds gather to watch the sun set at Knockroe Passage Tomb, on the borders of Kilkenny and Tipperary, at the Winter Solstice on December 21. Known locally as ‘The Caiseal’, Knockroe’s alignment with both the rising and setting sun during the Winter Solstice makes it unique in Ireland.

The sun rises at approximately 8.40 am and sets at 3.40 pm. Built more than 5,000 years ago by the first farmers, Knockroe Passage Tomb is part of a large collection of interconnected megalithic sites in the area, including Bawnfree, the Kilmacoliver Stone Circle, and the Cairn on Slievenamon. Along with the two chambers with a dual solar alignment, archeologist have uncovered the greatest collection of megalithic art outside County Meath. Knockroe is the oldest of many carved monuments in the valley.

Two burial chambers comprising c.30 decorated stones, north of Ahenny. Overlooks a South-swinging bend in the Lingaun. Knockroe is one of the best examples in Western Europe of a passage-grave or passage tomb, like Newgrange. The face of one of the tombs is decorated with a frieze of quartz, like Newgrange. Kerb-stones are richly decorated with rock art (spiral, hollow sup marks + zig-zags), like Newgrange and Knowth.

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