Marking Time in Co. Waterford

Ballinageeragh Dolmen, Dunhill, Co. Waterford

Antiquity is something we tend to take a little bit for granted in Ireland and we are surrounded by signs from the past.

Yesterday, as the world seemed to be caught up in Sunday shopping for Christmas, I found myself drawn to one of the many dolmens which can be found around Co. Waterford.

Ballinageeragh Dolmen is thought to have been erected by a Stone Age farming community about 5,000 years ago as a ceremonial place for their funerals.  Originally, there may have been a wooden enclosure around it where cremations took place.

The very sight of the dolmen opens up the world in so many ways and highlights the extent to which each of us in this moment is connected to a very distant past and no doubt a distant future.




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

10 thoughts on “Marking Time in Co. Waterford”

  1. Interesting thought. I follow a very spiritual, zen blogger and she posted on facebook a really interesting post, which basically says when we look to the stars we are seeing our ancestors as the body reverts to atoms in space. It was actually a lovely read.
    I often wonder as I drive through this country what it looked like a few hundred years ago. I do my best to imagine it, but usually just insert trees.
    I enjoyed all the thoughts your post gave me.

    1. Thanks Tric. I find that spending time beside dolmens or in ancient castles is a rather existential experience. What made yesterday so amazing was the fact that I knew that Waterford City which is 1,000 years old (the oldest city in Ireland!) wasn’t even in existence when the dolmen was erected. And there is was standing as solidly as could be in its peaceful place which Waterford was buzzing with shoppers.

      I wonder what they’ll be thinking about us in another 5,000 years?

  2. The history in Ireland is incredible. For us here in North America, any European influence only goes back 400 or 500 years. “Old” here is 100-200 years. Now there is a history of thousands of years for our First Nations (Aboriginals) but that doesn’t connect to our history. I was watching a show the other day where a farmer in Ireland was being interviewed and he stated that his family had farmed the same land since 1200AD – over 800 years. It blew me away.

    To see the rock arrangements you pictured and know that they were a part of your history 5,000 years ago is just not a concept that I am at all familiar with – and likely never will be.It is so amazing to me.

    Thanks so much for post and pictures Jean.

    1. Hi Paul, great to hear from you. It is quite amazing, even living here all my life, to think that we are surrounded by such rich history so I can’t imagine how it must be for you not to have that. Glad to be able to share.

    1. WOW, you must have been stopping every few minutes, if you were anywhere near here.
      Yes, we are blessed and it’s all too easy to take them for granted when there’s just so much.

    1. Roy, yes it was me that guided you there.
      Those capstones and the weight of them is astounding.
      They certainly seem to have honoured their dead very much. Interesting how cremation was the thing then ~ only to go out of fashion in Ireland for so long.

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