Hole of Sorrows


The Poulnabrone Dolmen in County Clare is one of Ireland’s most striking and famous landmarks. It can be found in the Burren, a stark, limestone sculpted landscape just below the city of Galway on the west coast. The Burren is home to more than 90 megalithic tombs, and the Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of the most impressive.

Poll na mBrón in Irish meaning “hole of sorrows”) is a portal tomb in the BurrenCounty ClareIreland, dating back to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC to 2900 BC. – Wikipedia

We had an unbelievable lunch with friends in Enniskillen earlier in the day – I should probably mention that good food has been quite central to our journey so far – before making the trip down toward Galway and the Burren. We made good time on what were often narrow and winding roads, but as it neared sunset we were still not where we wanted to be. Racing toward our destination, we saw clouds, rain, sunshine, and even a rainbow… and we had visions of great light and a composition that included the rainbow pointing toward the dolmen. However, when we arrived about fifteen minutes before the sun was officially supposed to set, thick clouds had rolled in from the western sky and we saw nothing but rain, rain, and more rain.

Even though the light was disappointing as we tried to make a photograph, and we both battled raindrops landing on the lens, we were excited to explore what is an amazing piece of evidence from Neolithic times. When restoration work was carried out in 1986, excavations revealed the buried remains of between 16-22 people. Though our visit was brief, we both agreed that this was one of the coolest Irish historical sites that either of us had seen.


4 thoughts on “Hole of Sorrows

  1. Don Erb

    Great pictures, Dave (or should I say Sam?) But what I really want to see is a picture of a leprechaun. We tried to catch one the other night (the kids had a plan) but we didn’t get one (but he or they left one heck of a mess!) I’ll tell the detective firm of Patterson & Son is on the lookout and will be sure to post a picture! Enjoy!

    • David Patterson

      Ah yes… the little people. We will certainly keep our eyes peeled for the rascals, but I hear they are quite elusive!

    • David Patterson

      Lili… it is quite humbling to stand at a place like this knowing how much history it has, and it certainly makes for a reflective experience.

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