The Kempe Stones, Greengraves



Map Reference: J445736 (3445, 3736)



The Kempe Stones is a magnificent portal tomb. The high portal stones are well matched and support a thick capstone. The rear of this capstone rests on a second smaller capstone which in turn rests on some orthostats. There is a long polygonal burial chamber. There is some cairn material surrounding the tomb but it is not known if this is original. In an excavation of about 1830 human bones were found and a bowl-type food-vessel, now in the Armagh County Museum, found in Greengraves townland may have come from this monument.



The word 'kempe' apparently means soldier, suggesting that the dolmen is a soldier's grave. 'Green' in this case is a corruption of Grania, who was forced to flee with her lover Dermot. They travelled throughout Ireland spending only one night in each place and giving rise to a large number of Dermot and Grania's Beds or labba.







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