Ballybrack : Portal Tomb

CountyDublin
Grid RefO 255 233
Longitude6° 7' 11.08" W
Latitude53° 14' 42.88" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBray (4.5 Km)
OS Sheet50
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 25th August 2001

This dolmen is a most surprising site. As you come around an island on the Ballybrack Road there it is, sitting in the center of a green, surrounded by council houses. A nearby bus stop was occupied by a teenage girl when I visited and she looked at me like I was from Mars or something. The tomb itself is very small, measuring just 5 ft high, but is still quite cute.

Sadly, the capstone has been vandalised with a red spray can, which although fading is still vivid enough to drawn attention.

There is a single, deep cup mark in the capstone that is about 4cm across.

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

A small, man made, hemi-spherical depression used as decoration on stones, usually no more than a few centimetres in diameter. They are quite often found with one or more rings around them.

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Thursday, 15th November 2001

I revisited this stone with a German friend, Gabi, purely because of its incredible location that provides a stark contrast to nearby Ballyedmonduff (County Dublin), which we also visited.

Thursday, 11th April 2002

Stop number two on today's little tour. I tried to recreate the photograph of this tomb that appears in Antiquities Of Old Rathdown (see reviews) but failed totally. It must have been taken with a very wide angle lens.

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Wednesday, 1st May 2002

Well, as I always say - This place is incredible. Scott ascribed an almost comedic value to its location. I think I have to agree somewhat. Still, it's such a contrast to what people expect that it is always worth stopping off at.

Saturday, 13th May 2006

The red paint has disappeared from the capstone now, but some white paint has appeared on one of the portal stones .

I also noticed something rather nice about the southern portal stone - it has a thin layer of quartz covering its outer face.

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

Portal stones are a pair of upright stones that form the 'entrance' to a portal tomb. They are usually well matched, being of even dimensions. As well as forming this doorway they also act as the front support for the capstone and are usually taller than the stones that form the chamber.

Often there is a door stone in between them blocking off access to the chamber within.

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Saturday, 5th January 2008

I suppose with its urban setting it's hardly surprising that this stone should get vandalised at some point. Inevitable as it may be it was still shocking to see the capstone daubed with white paint.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites

Old Images

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Directions

Follow the N11 from Dublin and take the Shankhill turn off. Carry on until you reach a T junction and turn left. Follow this road and you will see the dolmen in a clearing on the left after about 1 mile.

Miscellanea

This site used to be known as The Greyhound's Bed.

A friend of my daughters told me that when they were kids and used to play around this dolmen their grandparents used to tell them that if they ran around it 10 times and then through it 10 times and looked up at the large tree opposite they would see ghosts in the tree.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Portal Tombs

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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