Knockoneill Court Tomb

A megalithic tomb, dating to the Neolitic or New Stone Age (2000-4000) is found in Knockoneill. It gets its name from the semi-circular forecourt of upright stones that lead to a gallery. In most cases the dead would have been cremated and their remains placed in the gallery together with some belongings and food for their journey to the after-life. This gallery consists of two chambers. It is known locally as the "Giant's Grave" a commom name applied to such monuments.

This court tomb is unusual in that it has a susidiary chamber at the back of the gallery, which is entered via a poassage in the side of the tomb. More unusual is the fact that the backstone of the of the main gallery is used as a side stone of the subsidiary chamber. The tombe was used in the Bronze Age (approximately 2000-250 BC) for burial.

Excavations at the site in 1948, 1977, and more recently in 1984 produced charred bones and an urn dating to the Broze Age located to the south of the tomb and in the forecourt respectively. The majority of court tombs are found in the north of the island of Ireland with the majority of those with subsidiary chambers found in tmid Ulster and north Connacht. Seven court tombs are located in County Derry.

Interpretive materials are available on site.


This site is in the care of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

NB. This map is based on the postcode and so may not reflect the exact location.

Getting to the start by car:

The site is located approximately 4 kilometres from Swatragh. From Maghera take the A29 North to Swatragh. At Swatragh turn left onto the Drumbane Road. Take the third left road (signposted Knockoneill Road). The tomb is located across a field off this road.

The nearest Tourist Information Centre is:

Magherafelt Tourist Information Centre
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