Located on Bree Hil, just outside the village of Bree, close to Enniscorthy in County Wexford, sits the beautiful Ballybrittas Portal Tomb. With stunning views of Wexford’s agricultural landscape that extend as far as Forth Mountain, this neat little dolmen sits serenely in it’s surroundings, almost giving the impression of being a watchful guardian over the land. It’s not as large as some of Ireland’s more famous portal tombs, but is no less evocative as a result.
An Agricultural People
The site itself is over 5000 years old, and was constructed by the Neolithic first farmers in Ireland, long before the concept of counties even existed on this island. It was likely used as a burial site, or perhaps a boundary marker or status symbol for the people who had it constructed. It’s location amongst the fields and farmland lends a lovely continuance and connectivity through time, as the modern farmers continue their work under its gaze. All around are trees such as holly, oak and hawthorn, trees that were regarded as sacred in Ireland’s ancient past.
This site was only recently opened to the public, and is now accessible via a lovely walking trail through the woods on Bree Hill. It is a well signposted and very scenic trail with information about the dolmen once you reach it. I’d highly recommend getting out for a visit if you’re in the area, particularly as it
is the only site of it’s kind that is currently open to the public in County Wexford. As an Enniscorthy native it is a particularly wonderful development for me on a personal level. How wonderful that any young people in Wexford with an interest in Irish prehistory will not have to travel outside of their county to visit a site like this.