Shalwy : Court Tomb

CountyDonegal
Grid RefG 647 753
Longitude8° 32' 47.68" W
Latitude54° 37' 28.53" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownCarrick (6.5 Km)
OS Sheet10
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Thursday, 1st January 2004

It doesn't matter that this tomb has been restored ... it's wonderful. The pointed, 4m high gable-like form of the lintel is fantastic. I approached from the north and so directly into the front of the court with the sea beyond. Wonderful!

The gallery is massive with sidestones that are shoulder height, supporting huge corbels that in turn help to support the roofstone over the rear chamber . A little bit of assistance comes in the form of an steel beam.

There is a low sill between the enormous entrance jambs and an equally monsterous pair of jambs divides the gallery into two chambers. The whole of this structure is buried in cairn material that reaches to the base of the roofstone.

The court is incomplete on the west side, but complete on the east. The heights of the stones that form the limbs of the court decrease in height as they progress away from the entrance.

One thing to bear in mind about this site is that due to the main point of interest (i.e. the entrance) facing north it is probably best to visit either early or late on a summer's day so that you get the best light.

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

A cairn is a large pile of stones, quite often (but not always) containing a burial. Sometimes they have a kerb around the base.

Most cairns are hemi-spherical (like half a football), but the piles of stones used to cover wedge tombs, court tombs and portal tombs are also called cairns. When associated with these types of monument they are not always round, but sometimes rectangular or trapezoidal.

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About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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