Knockroe Passage Tomb, Kilkenny, Ireland

Knockroe Passage Tomb is a beautiful and impressive site situated on the slopes above the Lingaun River in Co. Kilkenny. The site dates from around 3,000 BC and though smaller in size it has many similarities with Knowth and even Newgrange and is also known as the ‘Caiseal’, Irish for stone fort/defence. Originally the tombs at Knockroe would have been covered by an earthen mound and surrounded by kerbstones, there are two tombs at Knockroe, located in the eastern and western sides of the feature. The Western Tomb is aligned with the sunset on the Winter Solstice, when the beautiful decorated sandstone at the back of the tomb is lit up. The eastern tomb is aligned with sunrise at Winter Solstice.Both tombs and kerbstones are highly decorated with spirals, ‘cup marks’ and zig-zag lines. Originally it was believed that during the Neolithic age Knockroe would have been one of the furthest southerly points settled in Ireland, however subsequent finds have shown Knockroe is just one of a group of tombs located in this region, many which appear to be aligned with a mound on the summit of Slievenamon in Co. Tipperary. Knockroe is beautiful and peaceful but can be somewhat disorientating as one tries to imagine what it would have looked like if still covered in its protective mound.

Knockroe wasn’t fully excavated until the early 1990s and is now under the protection of the OPW, however it is not signposted and can be quite difficult to find so I’d recommend using the map below.

GPS: 52.43174, -7.39974

4 thoughts on “Knockroe Passage Tomb, Kilkenny, Ireland

  1. Interesting here, to see the exposed framework of a passage tomb and also the rock art, which, to my eyes, seems quite different in style from that in the Boyne Valley.

  2. Hi,

    There is now a planning application for 8 wind turbines on the hills between Knockroe and its alignment with the setting sun. We are trying to protect the area by ensuring that it is closed to wind, however this application has been submitted just weeks before Tipperary County Council is due to vote on the new protective zone. We are also fundraising online to help us fight the application.

    The planning application can be seen here:

    More information about our campaign here:

    Pete Smith
    Faugheen Environmental Group and Suir Valley Environmental Group.

  3. Hi just visited there yesterday. Absolutely beautiful place. Hard to find initially but very peaceful and very interesting. Artwork there on inner stones is beautiful. Cathy

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