Knockranny Court Tomb
Ireland is well known for its megalithic or great stone tombs. These were mostly built and used during the most recent part of the Stone Age (c.3500-2000b.c.). This is known as the Neolithic Period. It was during this period that farming was first introduced into Ireland.
The structure visible in Knockranny Wood belongs to a distinctive type of megalithic tomb called a court tomb.
The court tomb is characterised by having an open, usually subcircular court at the end. At Knockranny the court has a gallery consisting of two chambers , built of large stone, entering off from it.
Excavations throughout Ireland suggests that human remains, usually cremated, were placed within the chambers. Grave goods such as decorated and undecorated pottery, flint scrapers, arrowheads, and occasionally beads, or polished stone axeheads were often deposited with the remains.
The gallery at Knockranny seems to have been originally covered with a rectangular stone cairn, now mostly removed or incorporated into modern field walls.
It is generally held that the open court was used for some sort of religious or ritual activity.
The presence of at least three court tombs around the village of Keadue shows that todays farmers in the area are the inheritors of a tradition that spans five thousand years.