Located in the heart of The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark, Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland’s most iconic archaeological monuments, and second only to the famous Cliffs of Moher in terms of most visited attractions in County Clare. Situated in the limestone dominated Burren area, Poulnabrone Dolmen is thought to be Ireland oldest megalithic monument, dating back some 6,000 years.
During an archaeological excavation in the 1980s, the remains of over 20 people dating back to the Bronze Age were found. This included a mix of adults, children and a newborn baby, with the bones indication arthritis and the signs of wear indicating that physical labour was part of everyday life for those living in The Burren region thousands of years ago.
Poulnabrone is classified as a portal tomb due to the structure comprising of two large portal stones supporting a flatter stone to mark the entrance to the ‘dolmen’. The name Poulnabrone means ‘the hole of the sorrows’, and may indicate that this site was used as a burial ground for some of the earliest farming communities to settle in Clare.
One of the most photographed landmarks in Clare, Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of several popular attractions and discover points in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, with the rough terrain and rugged landscape something you should explore with caution when visiting Poulnabrone Dolmen. The portal tomb is free to explore although a rope provides a barrier to try and preserve this ancient monument as best as possible. A large car park is located nearby to ensure you can safely explore Poulnabrone Dolmen and the surrounding area.