Standing stone
Co. Kildare
Nearest town: Naas
Nearest village: Punchestown
Map references: Map 3 (East) 291216

Punchestown ImageThe tallest standing stone in Ireland is about 7m (23ft) high

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In a field near the Punchestown racecourse, home of the annual Kildare and National Hunt Races, stands the tallest and probably the most elegant of all Irish standing stones.
    Locally known as the Longstone of Punchestown Great, this tall granite stone was originally set tilted, but fell down in 1931 and was re-erected three years later. Seven metres (27ft) high, the Punchestown stone weighs about 9 tons and has an almost square base with a circumference of 3.3m (11ft) that gradually turns wedge-shaped as it rises. At its base there was a short stone cist which was empty and without grave goods. The Punchestown standing stone was probably a memorial mark to the Bronze Age burial found beneath it.
    Apparently, Beaker people of the Eastern Province erected this and many other standing stones in the same area (in the south-west of Ireland there are about 600 examples). The Irish name for these monuments is 'gallán' or 'dallán', though there are many local variations.

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