Ballykeel Portal Tomb

Ballykeel Dolmen (2)

Also known as the Hag’s Chair, it is situated on a terrace of flat land ringed by the low rugged hills of the Ring of Gullion in Co. Armagh.
Like many portal tombs, it was built in the Neolithic period but used again in the Bronze Age and also has the common feature of the entrance facing a stream.

Excavation in the 1960’s revealed that it had an octagonal burial chamber under the capstone. Many sherds of Neolithic pottery and some flint tools were found. The portal tomb would have been covered by a cairn of stones which extended back from the tomb by 25m, giving it the appearance of a long cairn.  The remains of this can still be seen. The Bronze Age stone burial cist was inserted into the cairn material.

Ballykeel Dolmen (6)
The information board with a drawing of how the cairn would have looked
Ballykeel Dolmen (7)
Standing on what remains of the cairn material, looking towards the dolmen at the south end
Ballykeel Dolmen
Looking from the tomb towards the end of the cairn. The hills forming part of the Ring of Gullion volcanic ring dyke are in the background.

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