Gortatoor : Court Tomb

CountyMayo
Grid RefG 129 364
Longitude9° 20' 13.33" W
Latitude54° 16' 8.1" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallycastle (2.7 Km)
OS Sheet23
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 4th August 2002

I am confused. This is definitely a court tomb. This is fairly easy to decide due to the north-south alignment of the gallery and the trapezoidal kerb outline, but the scarce remains do try to confuse.

No cairn infill remains and so you have to do a little detective work on the rest. As mentioned the kerb is definitely separable from the rest of the stones, leaving the centrally positioned gallery quite easy to identify. Once these stones are removed from the puzzle there is a curious arrangement left. In front of the gallery is a group of stones that could either form a deep wine glass shaped court or even a very small full court. In front of that is a very shallow curve of stones that would seem to be a second court, or perhaps the kerb went across the front of the deeper court just mentioned.

The cairn kerb describes an area 25m long and 8m wide at the front (south) and 5m at the 'tail'. The gallery is about 6m long with no definite jambs to say how many chambers were inside. The deeper court is 4m deep and 5m wide, with the shallower court occupying the full width and just 1.5m deep.

The original design is certainly enigmatic, making more of a shame that it does not exist in better shape today.

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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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