What a wonderful place! The 3m high corbelled roof is fantastic - and is probably the oldest surviving example. Like Carrowkeel - Cairn G (County Sligo) this is a spectacular tomb. The passage is very awkward to enter, but once you are inside the effort is worth it.
There are three sub-chambers, again like Cairn G, forming a cruciform layout. Each is marked by a low sill-stone and narrow flanking orthostats . In the right-hand one there is a triangular back stone, which looks like a mountain peak.
I sat in here for quite some time feeling very comfortable. Despite the temperatures outside being quite low the air inside was surprisingly pleasant. I suppose like many of these places there is hardly any variance throughout the year and so entering here on a hot summer's day would be a superb relief.
A barrow is essentially a mound of earth over one or more burials. They are more usually to be dated to the Bronze Age. There are many forms of barrow including ring, bowl, long and bell barrows.
Ring barrows are formed by digging a circular trench or fosse around a central burial, with no mound.
Bowl barrows are formed by heaping up soil over the burial(s) from a surrounding fosse, these often have an external bank too (see Ballyremon Commons (County Wicklow)).
Bell barows are simply round mounds with no fosse or external bank.
Long barrows are rare in Ireland and are more common in southwest England. Their shape is basically ovoid rather than round (see Ballynoe (County Down))
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I do so love this one. Crawling inside and sitting at the rear of the chamber is great. It's even better when you can see that it points at a fantastic horizon.
It was about 1pm when I was here and while I was here I was joined by a young couple who obviously come here fairly often. They too couldn't believe how great the visibility was. I didn't see anyone else until around 4pm when I left. This is a great place to have all to yourself and your thoughts.
A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.
This monument does indeed need 6 stars! It is one of the finest in the land.
I was on my way back to Carrowkeel - Cairn G (County Sligo) to see the final moments of the sunset when I stopped off here and crawled inside. The passage is aligned in a roughly northerly-ish direction and not to the sunset, but the amount of light that was penetrating the chamber was incredible!
The whole of the inside was lit up. It was sitting and basking in this light inside this glorious monument that made me miss the final moments of the event I came to witness at Cairn G. I am happy that I got to sit here alone and enjoy these moments.
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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.