The approach to the dolmen, across the field, fills you with great expectations which is not flattened upon arrival. From the road and as you head towards it you can see the two huge capstones rising above the hedgerow.
The dolmen actually forms part of the field boundary but is in almost perfect condition. The two massive portal slabs project infront of the nearly full height door stone. The chamber is over 2m tall and I was easily able to stand up inside.
The chamber has a floorplan measuring 2m x 1m and is accessible through two small openings in the sides.
This is a truly wonderful tomb and could only be improved upon if it was free standing and not built into the wall.
Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image
It was a pleasure to pull up opposite the gateway that leads to this beautiful monument. The feeling of being back here again is so thrilling. It doesn't matter that it is so cramped and crowded. This is surely one of Ireland's top sites. The fact that there is a ruined church hidden in the trees just yards from the tomb adds to the feeling of history here, too.
One interesting thing I noticed while I was taking pictures of the southern side was that there is a huge, bulbous rock outcrop to the west that pokes out of the trees some 2km or so away. With its omphalos-like appearance, this rock outcrop surely played an important role in the areas ritual history.
Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image
I know I was only here a couple of weeks ago, but I just wanted to come back again. This time I took the opportunity to look at the two capstones . The lower one seems to have three or four cupmarks on it. These are probably natural, but one certainly looks as if it could have been enhanced.
Boulder burials are very simple, yet striking monuments. As the name suggest they are simply burials beneath a large boulder. The burials contained within are mainly single and set in a small kist like chamber made from smaller stones (see Reanacaheragh (County Cork).
Boulder burials can be found on their own or within or around stone circles. The boulders often bear cup marks and were often picked for their curiously attractive shape or rock patterns.
I didn't actually visit here today, but did see it across the valley from the south, just above Munmahoge (County Waterford). This is one of those sites that is usually only seen up close, so to see it like this was great. A farmer local farmer told me that the huge round rocky outcrop to the west that I previously mentioned is known as the Sugar Loaf and that it used to be much more prominent, but in recent years the trees ahve grown tall around it and they make it look much smaller than it really is.
Head south on the N25 from Waterford and take the first left after passing the R686 junction. Take the second left and continue for about 1km until you a farm on your left. Opposite this is a gate into a field and the tomb is visible from here. I asked at the farm and they said there is no need to ask.
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.