Slidderyford Dolmen, Down, Ireland

Slidderyford Dolmen, also known as Wateresk Portal Tomb, is situated just off the main route between Newcastle and Dundrum in County Down. This beautiful tomb is framed with the Mourne Mountains and Slieve Donard as its backdrop. The granite capstone is 3 metres in length and 1 metre in depth, it rests on three support stones, the tallest of which is 1.8 metres. The largest of the support stones is unusual in that it almost appears sculpted to carry the capstone, these stones are known as ‘shoulder stones’ and they do seem to be particularly prevalent in the Mourne region. An early 19th century engraving shows another orthostat (support stone) and possible remains of a cairn but these are no longer visible. It is hard to ascertain from where the name Slidderyford derives but from the ordnance survey review from 1827-35 it is recorded as Ath na gcloch beó ‘the ford of the living stones’. In 1655 it was recorded as ‘the Slippery Foord’ in a civil survey, this is the earliest recording of the name to my knowledge.

GPS: 54.23954, -5.86314

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