Ballymarlagh : Court Tomb

Grid RefD 141 018
GPSD 14029 01778 (4m)
Longitude6° 13' 28.01" W
Latitude54° 51' 2.6" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallymena (3.9 Km)
OS Sheet9
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 1st December 2002

Found, excavated, fenced in and forgotten about! What a shame, because while rooting around in the undergrowth and amongst the saplings that now cover the fairly extensive cairn remains we found that there is infact a 4-5m gallery , segmented with at least one sill stone . One court stone was just visible from outside the enclosure (which features a lethal style for climbing over the fence!).

If this was cleared and maintained it would be a good and easily visitable monument. I've certainly been to ones that are a lot worse!

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.

A low stone used to de-lineate the divisions of a gallery. Sill stones fill the width of the space, but do not reach the roof.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image


Sunday, 27th January 2008

I recently came across some photos of this site having just been cleared and it looked great. The images weren't dated, so I had to come and check the site out to see if they were recent. They aren't. In fact I think they predate my previous visit to the site.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image


Like this monument

Marked Sites


From Ballymena take the A36 east for just over 1km past the large island where it meets the M2. Take a left hand turn next to a church. After about 400m there is a gate on the right hand side of the road. Go through this gate and walk up the slope, following the hedge. At the crown you will reach a fenced enclosure which contains the overgrown tomb.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Court 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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