Legananny Dolmen, Down, Ireland

Legananny Dolmen/Portal Tomb is certainly one of the most iconic megaliths on the island of Ireland, perhaps only coming second to Poulnabrone in County Clare. The tomb has three upright stones supporting the capstone and is so marvellously and delicately placed its a wonder to visit. Lord Francis Annesley who visited it in 1895 said that, “It is so beautifully balanced that the upper stone, though an enormous weight, can easily be rocked by pushing it with an umbrella” (The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland). It is magnificently situated on the slopes of Slieve Croob in County Down, with the Mourne Mountains visible to its south, and due thanks must be paid to the local farmer who keeps the site in such pristine condition. The capstone is over 3 metres in length and the highest of the supporting stones stands at around 2 metres. There are multiple interpretations of the name of both the dolmen and the townland, one is ‘Liagán Áine’, translated as the Pillar Stone of Aine, the mother goddess associated with Fionn MacCumhaill, however another meaning as been suggested ‘Liag an Fhanáidh’ which translates to ‘the flat stone on the slope’. The monument has also been known as the ‘Druid’s Altar’, but this is probably a 18th century romantic idea. On one side of the tomb there is evidence of the cairn stones that would have enveloped the site at the time of its construction, this is not visible on the road side. If you are in the area of County Down I think Legananny is a must see.

GPS: 54.32307, -6.02016

3 thoughts on “Legananny Dolmen, Down, Ireland

  1. What a breathtaking achievement of ancient engineering! It’s incredible what human ingenuity is capable of doing! While a “druid alter” probably is fanciful, one has to wonder what motivated the people to take on such an enormous endeavor.
    The capstone can be rocked by pushing on it with an umbrella? Lol that sounds like a terrible idea.

    Fine weather for photography. You really snapped some majestic views of the dolmen. Very professional looking!

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