Irish Grid Reference: J 28900 43400. Legananny Dolmen can be found beside a footpath in a farmer’s field between Legananny Road and Dolmen Road on the southwestern slopes of Slieve Croob Mountain, near the village of Leitrim, 3 miles northwest of Castlewellan and 4 miles south of Dromora, in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is also called a Tripod Dolmen (as its huge coffin-shaped capstone is precariously perched upon three upright tripod stones), a Portal Dolmen, and Cromlech. The name Dolmen is derived from “stone table”. This quite amazing prehistoric chambered-tomb monument, dating back 5,000 years to the Neolithic, was probably the burial place of a tribal chieftain; although there is not much left of the mound that once protected and covered the burial chamber. This very graceful-looking monument, which is in State Care, is signposted from Leitrim village, and, it can be reached along a footpath going northwards for 50m uphill from Windy Gap car park on Dolmen Road. Legananny Dolmen has become a much-photographed ancient monument.
Resting on three upright stones, one, in particular, being L-shaped, the over three-metre long capstone points slightly downwards at an angle and rests on the smaller of the three uprights – looking as if it might slide off at any moment! But it is quite safe. It is noticeable, too, that the capstone has straight edges as do the uprights; the taller one being very odd-shaped and wider with an L-shaped cut-away notch.
Reader’s Digest (1992) says: “Legananny Dolmen/Lag an Eanaigh. On the south face of Cratlieve, 850ft above sea level, is a dolmen with a special view of the Mourne Mountains to the south. This is megalithic stonework at its most impressive. Whereas many dolmens are only semi-structured groups of fallen boulders, here the great capstone, 10ft by 4ft by 2ft, stands clear of the ground supported on three stones 7½ft high, looking like a huge tripod.
Sources/References & Related Websites:-
Reader’s Digest, Illustrated Guide To Ireland, Reader’s Digest Association Limited, London, 1992.
The AA, Illustrated Guide To Britain, Drive Publications Limited, London, 1968.
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Copyright © Ray Spencer, The Journal of Antiquities, 2021.