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County Londonderry: Latest Posts

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Tirnoney (Portal Tomb) — Links

The Heritage Journal

"Time and the lack of written record, have tied a tight blindfold between us and prehistory, but occasionally we get the chance of a small nudge in the right direction. Following the recent collapse of its capstone, Tirnony portal tomb, in County Derry, is to be excavated in advance of restoration."
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
23rd October 2010ce

Tirnoney (Portal Tomb) — News

5,000 yr old burial site to give up its secrets

Archaeologists are to dig out a portal tomb in Northern Ireland for the first time in 50 years.
The collapse of Tirnony Dolmen near Maghera has produced a rare opportunity to discover what lies beneath — and exactly how old it is.
Normally portal tombs, which are among the oldest built structures still standing in Northern Ireland, are off limits to excavators and must be preserved.

But after the massive capstone of this portal tomb fell to the ground earlier this year, archaeologists will be able to uncover the secrets it has held for millennia before repairs are carried out.
Tirnony Dolmen is between 5,000 and 6,000 years old, according to Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIIEA) archaeologist Paul Logue.

"After standing in Northern Ireland weather for over 5,000 years some of the tomb's structural stones have begun to crack, causing the capstone to slip," he said.
"Before we start to repair the tomb we will excavate it to ensure that the archaeological material associated with it is recorded ahead of restoration work.
"When the tomb was first built it would have been used for interring the bones of selected members of the local stone age community. This could have included men and women, young and old. Finds from inside similar tombs include pottery and flint tools, possibly left as grave goods for use by the dead in the afterlife.
"We hope to find out more about how this tomb was built, when it was built and how it was used."

Members of the public are invited to come along on Friday afternoons to find out for themselves what has been unearthed. The excavation will also be charted in a blog revealing the latest finds.
Mr Logue said the tomb was originally built by digging out a trench where the upright stones were embedded, packing round these with smaller stones before installing the massive capstone on top of them.
In recent years, the capstone, which weighs between two and a half and three tonnes, had begun to rock, putting pressure on the supporting stones beneath. These then moved, causing the capstone to slide further.

(Acknowledgements to WRAO and Digital Digging for this information)
tjj Posted by tjj
16th October 2010ce

Gortmonly (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

I found this rock while out prospecting for gold. Don't worry I didn't hit it with my hammer!!
It's very important I know about megaliths as hevan forbid I damage any of these prehistoric wonders. But this one did not appear to be on any maps.

It is located behind a small quarry at the top of the lower north eastern mound at Gortmonly Hill in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland.

GR: 240769 408652

It has recently been uncovered by farmer who has chopped down a lot of bush. Maybe he intends to extend his quarry so this site must be recognised before it is lost.

The stone needs a proper clean up and inspection. If anyone wishes to go have a look with me please e-mail me. Maybe there is more in the surrounding area if anyone wishes to explore.
12pointer Posted by 12pointer
6th April 2009ce

Gortmonly (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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6th April 2009ce

Tirnoney (Portal Tomb) — Images

<b>Tirnoney</b>Posted by CianMcLiam<b>Tirnoney</b>Posted by CianMcLiam<b>Tirnoney</b>Posted by CianMcLiam CianMcLiam Posted by CianMcLiam
19th August 2006ce

Dungiven Standing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

In antiquarian prints showing the area there is a view of the mountian Benbradagh that states it is painted as "The view from Dungiven standing stone". This view is the view you would have north if the modern church did not stand in the way. This indicates that the stone has been used as a marking point for a long time.

The stone itself is beside what is the main east west route over the Sperrin mountians (along the Roe valley and over the Glenshane pass) and may have been famous (due to its size and easy location) as a way point. At the time of the above print it would have stood well outside the town though it has now been overtaken.
Posted by Heron
7th September 2004ce

Dungiven Standing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

This is a tall rectangular standing stone about 7 and a half feet at its tallest point located on a mound behind the modern Catholic church in Dungiven. The church is on the main road east out of the town and the stone itself can be accessed by climbing over the fence at the back of the grave yard.

The stone is a tall rectangular stone about 4 foot wide and 0.5 - 1 ft thick. It stands on what appears to be a man made mound about 6 foot about the datum of the hill its on. The mound its on is on the north side of the river Roe (which rises about 7 miles east between Glenshane and Coolnasillagh mountains). The ruins of an old Celtic church are in the small valley below it. The current church it stands behind would only be about 150 years old.

Its orientation (along its width) is roughly east west so that it faces north and south.

The stone itself is impressive in its size and location. Its large flat surface is covered in lichen and the vibe about it is a definite male one. The day I was there was a warm summers day (by norn iron standards) and the view out to the south ran parallel to the Glenelly valley and over the bog land. To the north stands Benbradagh mountain. Whether its location (above an old church and beside a new one) is any indication of the areas usage is unknown.
Posted by Heron
7th September 2004ce
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