I have seen photos of this wonderful place for years now and have always wanted to get close up and see what it is really like, and see how big or small it is. I have also looked at this site many times on the map (not realising that they are one and the same) and thought it looked awkward to get to. Fortunately it isn't at all difficult to reach and is signposted - this one is a national monument and so has public access.
The size? It's a monsterous capstone resting on two tiny stones that form the chamber. The capstone reaches a height of 2m+ and is 2.5m long and 2m wide. There is a massive length of cairn trailing away down the hill towards the sea, with quite a lot of the revetment stones forming its edge. Along with Ballykeel (County Armagh) this has to be one of the finest examples of a long cairn that I have been to yet.
Positioned as it is, at the head of this long pebble beach, the tomb looks like a turtle crawling from the sea to lay eggs at the top - it's been a long climb, over 4000 years!
The large rock used to form the roof of a portal tomb or kist.
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.
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.