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Baltinglass Hill - Tombs

Passage Grave



Description: Situated on the summit of Baltinglass Hill in the SE sector of Rathcoran hillfort (WI027-026001-). It was excavated in 1934-6 (Walshe 1941, 221-36) and was found to consist of a multiperiod kerbed cairn (diam. c. 27m) underneath which five structures were identified. The cairn material has been built up to form a massive protective wall around the monument (CUCAP, ASU 48). A kerb of large stones surrounded the cairn, and an inner kerb was revealed during excavation. Two stones of the inner kerb and one of the outer bear passage tomb art. The main tomb is on the N side of the cairn; a short passage (L 3.2m) within the cairn is roofed with slabs and leads to a chamber (diam. 2m) which contains three shallow recesses. It contains a stone basin with pecked ornament. On the S side of the cairn is another tomb comprising a chamber divided into three compartments; no evidence for a passage was found. Two of its stones bear passage tomb art. On the NW side of the cairn are the remains of a small corbelled structure, partly overlain by the inner kerb. Immediately SW of this was a small cist-like structure which is no longer visible. A fifth chamber stands inside the kerb to the E of the main tomb. The finds from the site include the cremations of at least three adults and one child, flint scrapers, Carrowkeel pottery, and bone pins. Finds from beneath the cairn included a stone axe, a flint javelin-head, scrapers, an egg-shaped stone, carbonised wheat grains and hazelnuts. A saddle quern was also found in the cairn material (Cooney 1981, 102-6). The site is referred to in the OS Name Books as a cave on the NE side of a large collection of stones. Another cairn lies 100m to the SW. (Walshe 1941, 221-36; Herity 1974, 259-60; Shee-Twohig 1981, 223)

The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Wicklow' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.

Date of upload/revision: 17 December 2008

Date of last visit: 11 April 1989
ryaner Posted by ryaner
8th September 2014ce

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