How many dolmens once existed? Is it a miracle that any have survived? Perhaps we underestimate conservation motives of the hundreds of generations of our ancestors who saved these monuments from destruction? Or perhaps we overestimate them?
Michael Greenhalgh writes that in 1843 a dolmen in Seine-et-Marne, France disappeared without even the dimensions being known. He says that many people have a misinformed belief that people in the past had an interest to preserve important monuments where instead a lot of monuments were destroyed without much thought.
Ballylumford Dolmen is a portal tomb found on Islandmagee, County Antrim. Local call it the “Druid’s Altar”. The dolmen has four upright stones, with a heavy capstone and a fallenstone within the structure. This may have been put there to block the entrance to the tomb.
Many people passing by must presume that this is some odd garden decoration, and not realise it might be 4000 years old, or the remains of an even earlier passage grave. It is also Ireland’s most easterly Portal Tomb.
Wikipedia has a photo of the site from 1911:
Ballylumford Dolmen – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballylumford_Dolmen
Ballylumford Dolmen – http://www.megalithicmonumentsofireland.com/COUNTIES/ANTRIM/Ballylumford_Dolmen.html
Destruction of Cultural Heritage in 19th-century France
Old Stones versus Modern Identities by Michael Greenhalgh