Fourknocks : Passage Tomb

Grid RefO 109 620
GPSO 10853 62029 (8m)
Longitude6° 19' 31.67" W
Latitude53° 35' 46.94" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownGarristown (5 Km)
OS Sheet43
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 19th August 2001

After Dowth (County Meath) Fourknocks may seem like an odd site to visit. Like Newgrange (County Meath) and Knowth (County Meath) one of the mounds has been fully restored. The entrance is guarded by a steel door for which you have to obtain the key from a house just over a mile away (see directions below). Even if you are on foot it is worth the effort and ?10 pound deposit.

The inner chamber is a huge pear shaped one measuring 6 meters in diameter. Apparently it used to have a wooden roof supported by a central column, now it is capped with an unsightly concrete dome.

There are three small sub-chambers, two of which have carved lintels . Above the door there are two other carved stones and several more are erected against the walls. One in particular makes the journey here wothwhile; it shows a very stylised but definite face. It stares back at you smiling. It is a Neolithic Smiley !!! I am told this is the only representation of a face from this era in Ireland, possibly even in Europe.

The ambience inside the Pear chamber is calming and tranquil, yet at the same time full of vibes, despite its reconstruction. Once you block out the concrete ceiling you can really chill out here.

I could see two of the other ruinous mounds in an adjoining field with some very clear KEEP OUT signs.

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

A fosse is a man made trench that is often associated with a bank. Fossse can be used to refer to a dyke, the circular trench around some barrows or the trench dug around a ring fort for defensive purposes.

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Sunday, 3rd February 2002

Popped back to see Fourknocks again. I was too early to go and get the key, but I couldn't resist taking a peek, even just at the outside, while I was so close.

Even with the steel door shut this wonderful mound has some magic.

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Friday, 12th April 2002

Knowth (County Meath), Newgrange (County Meath), Dowth (County Meath) and Fourknocks in one day! It's hard to cope with this.

Saturday, 15th May 2004

I can now ignore the roof quite easily when here and I love the feeling as your eyes adjust to the dark inside and the texture and shape of the stones starts to leap out of the walls. I put together a panoramic view of the inside of the chamber (see link on right).

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Monday, 31st October 2005

After a wet start at Tara we plumped for Fourknocks, because it has a roof! A wonderful place to go at any time and it's always great to take someone there for the first time.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites

Site Plans

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<a href='/show/image/4557/fourknocks.htm' class='redlink'>Permanent Link</a>_


From Garristown follow the R130 east and then take the R122 north. Take the second left (about 3.5 km) and follow the road to the end. The key is available from a house in Davidstown (O 093 616) and requires a 10 deposit.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Passage Tombs

External Links

A great site specialising in the megalithic passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Fourknocks, Loughcrew and Tara.
Click here to visit this site

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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