Ards Beg : Portal Tomb

Grid RefB 899 306
GPSB 89938 30605 (6m)
Longitude8° 9' 27.83" W
Latitude55° 7' 21.26" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownFalcarragh (3.9 Km)
OS Sheet1
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 13th March 2005

I once saw an old black and white photo of this site and it looked spectacular. The capstone was still resting on the stout portal stones and the chamber walls seemed to be upright. Sadly this is no longer the case. One side of the chamber has collapsed beneath the weight of the 4m long, 0.8m thick capstone, which has also slipped from the portal stones. The stones from the other wall have been pushed outwards.

This is not where the sorrow of this monument ends though. The tomb stands in the rear garden of a bungalow, which has been built just 2m in front of the portal. To add insult to injury one of the portal stones has been secured upright by a nasty looking blob of concrete. To compound matters the blob of concrete had been decorated by having mussel shells pressed into it. A loose scatter of shells, presumably taken from Binanea Strand which the tomb overlooks, has been placed in front of the low doorstone.

The house totally blocks out the views to the south where Tievealehid and Errigal Mountain rise up in a most spectacular manner. Looking around the area I can not understand why it was necessary to build a bungalow just here. There's a lot of land hereabouts and the planners should be shot for allowing it. That said the gentleman who now occupies the property is very nice and doesn't mind you popping around the back to see the tomb.

The gallery is around 3m long and just over 1m wide. The portal stones are 1.8m tall with a half-height doorstone in between. The central axis is aligned just off east-west with the entrance facing south of east towards Muckish Mountain.

The large rock used to form the roof of a portal tomb or kist.

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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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