The Kempe Stones

The Kempe Stones, also known as Greengraves, are a Portal Tomb located in a field near Dundonald, west of Newtownards, integrated into a hedge of Western Gorse (Ulex gallii) in County Down, Northern Ireland.

the kempe stones

The Kempe Stones, also known as Greengraves, are a Portal Tomb located in a field near Dundonald, west of Newtownards, integrated into a hedge of Western Gorse (Ulex gallii) in County Down, Northern Ireland. They are a fine example of the rarer type of dolmen with two capstones. Other sites of this type include Aughnacliff in County Longford, Knockeen in County Waterford, Kilmogue in County Kilkenny, and the Haroldstown Dolmen. The site is a Scheduled Monument. The tall portal stones are well-matched and support the thicker front capstone. The back of this large capstone rests on the second, considerably smaller capstone, which, in turn, rests on the three end and side stones. The stones form a polygonal chamber. There is also a significant amount of stone material around the megalithic structure, but it is unknown whether it is original. Human bones were found at the site around 1830.

The word “Kempe” means fighter (knight), indicating that the dolmen was believed to be the grave of a soldier. “Green” (from Grenngraves) is a corruption of the legendary character Gráinne, who was forced to flee with her lover Diarmuid. They traveled across Ireland, spending only one night at each place, leading to a large number of “Dermot and Grania beds” (Irish: Leaba, English: Labba) or caves.

Nearby is the Portal Tomb of Ballygraffan.

  • References

    image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kempe_Stones_Dolmen_in_a_field_boundary,_Greengraves_Road_-_geograph.org.uk_-_869631.jpg

Share

Other places in United Kingdom