Darby's Bed – Snugborough, Ireland - Atlas Obscura

Snugborough, Ireland

Darby's Bed

A Neolithic passage tomb said to have sheltered two legendary Irish lovers. 

Standing atop a wooded hill are the remains of a passage tomb believed to date from around 3000 BCE. Stumbling upon this megalithic grave provides walkers with a glimpse of Ireland’s ancient past.

All that remains of the original structure are its large upright stones, known as orthostats, that once lined the tomb’s passageway and capped chamber. An earthen mound once covered the gravesite, which before the forest was planted, would have offered breathtaking views of the landscape below.

It’s unknown who lies within the Neolithic tomb. One local tale claims it’s the final resting place of Oilill Olum, King of Munster, though this legendary ruler is believed to have lived in the third century CE.

That isn’t the only bit of lore attached to the tomb. It’s said that legendary lovers Diarmuid and Gráinne took shelter beneath the stones while fleeing from Fionn mac Cumhaill, a hunter-warrior who the princess Gráinne had been supposed to marry.

Know Before You Go

Take the Boreen NW out of the village of Galbally. You will then arrive at the Duntryleague car park. Leave the parking lot and walk uphill through open fields and then into the forest, where the trail eventually leads to the tomb. Be prepared for sudden, changeable weather. 

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