The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Ballynamona Lower (Court Tomb) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Ballynamona Lower (Court Tomb) — Fieldnotes

We visited Ballynamona on a drizzly, mid-August day, a day untypical of the sunny summer we've had this year. Ballynamona is deep in the Waterford Gaelteacht, a place where the usual bi-lingual signposting is dropped and everything is in Irish only. However, this convention in turn is dropped when you get to the end of the driveable track, where one neighbour has seen fit to post a "BEWARE, ATTACK DOG LOOSE" sign right next to the last, tree-lined track that leads to the field where the tomb lies. This is very intimidating, and it almost worked, but I reckoned I would never come back here and I really wanted to see Ireland's most southerly court tomb, so with a bit of convincing and coaxing of 9-year-old LM we opened the gate and headed up the track (in the end there was no attack dog to be seen or heard, signs like these judiciously used to put off the intrepid amateur archaeologist and the stoner hippy alike).

At the end of the track we reached a barley field that had been harvested quite a while earlier in the year and headed over to where the tomb lies. I had expected a fenced-in tomb in a clearing at the side of the field, judging from the shots here and elsewhere. What we found, eventually, was a bracken, gorse and bramble covered neglected mess. The fence is gone, or buried under the bracken, and the bracken and gorse has overgrown the tomb.

I was disheartened and disappointed. The gallery of the tomb was visible, but all the court stones were inundated. I took a few shots and started to head off, saddened by the neglect and seeming disdain. We reached the edge of the barley field and talked about how we'd probably never return - this is an isolated spot, not really on the way to anywhere. LM asked me why I bother and I said without the likes of us, these sites could be lost altogether (there was a faint track to the tomb from the barley field so someone does come here occasionally).

We turned back and headed through the jungle. Neither of us were dressed for the brambles but we persevered. Rooting around by the large stone on the western arm of the court I found the Bord Fáilte sign and its post, dumped there unceremoniously. I used this to tamp down the bracken around the gallery to give it some breathing space. I also found one of the staves from the fence which I used to bash back some of the gorse and brambles. I tamped down the bracken within the chamber/gallery of the tomb with my feet. And there it was, quite an impressive court tomb, with stones remaining on both arms of its court and a fairly complete gallery. Uncovered and opened out, the tomb regained a bit more majesty and we were grateful to the ancestors for leaving this place for us.

Leaving, I felt a certain sense of self-justification – this stone-hunting is not everyone's cup of tea, it's mainly the domain of eccentrics and, eh, stoners. It flashes into the broader consciousness occasionally when a spectacular like the recent stuff at Newgrange and Dowth makes the news. And then it's forgotten about once again, left to the likes of LM and me to uncover once again, attack dogs in our own right.

Dunhill (Portal Tomb) — Images

<b>Dunhill</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Dunhill</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Dunhill</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Dunhill</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Dunhill</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Dunhill</b>Posted by ryaner

Dunhill (Portal Tomb) — Miscellaneous

From archaeology.ie:

Description: Situated in pasture on a fairly steep SE-facing slope of the N-S valley of the Annestown stream, which is c. 210m to the E. The roofstone (dims. 4m x 2.7m; T 1.2m) is supported by one orthostat. (Atkins 1896, 71-2; Borlase 1897, vol. 1, 57; Ó Nualláin 1983, 103)

The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1999). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.

Compiled by: Michael Moore.

Date of upload/revision: 16th May 2011.

References:

1. Atkins, R. 1896 The rude stone monuments of our own and other lands. Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Journal 2, 60-80, 131-61.
2. Borlase, W.C. 1897 The Dolmens of Ireland, 3 vols. London. Chapman and Hall, London.
3. Ó Nualláin, S. 1983 Irish portal tombs, topography, siting and distribution. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 113, 75-105.

Ballynageeragh (Portal Tomb) — Images

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Ballynageeragh (Portal Tomb) — Miscellaneous

From archaeology.ie:

Description: Situated in pasture on a broad plateau with a slight E-facing slope. An oval roofstone (dims. 4m x 2.65m; T 0.7m) is resting on the septal-slab and the backstone with a cushion-stone between the roofstone and the backstone. The tomb, which faces SW, lacks portal-stones but the sidestones are present. It was investigated and conserved in 1939-40 when cremated bone, flint and charcoal were found in the chamber (Herity 1964). (Du Noyer 1864-6, 480; Atkins 1896, 68-9; Ó Nualláin 1983, 103; Harbison 1992, 325)

The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1999). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.

Compiled by: Michael Moore.

Date of upload/revision: 13th May 2011.

This monument is subject to a preservation order made under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014 (PO no. 63/1938).

References:

1. Atkins, R. 1896 The rude stone monuments of our own and other lands. Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Journal 2, 60-80, 131-61.
2. Du Noyer, G.V. 1864-6 On cromleacs near Tramore in the County of Waterford; with remarks on the classification of ancient Irish earthen and megalithic structures. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 8, 474-82.
3. Harbison, P. 1992 Guide to the national and historic monuments of Ireland. Gill and Macmillan Ltd., Dublin.
4. Herity, M. 1964 The finds from the Irish portal dolmens. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 94, pt. 2, 123-44.
5. Ó Nualláin, S. 1983 Irish portal tombs, topography, siting and distribution. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 113, 75-105.

Ballynageeragh (Portal Tomb) — Images

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Savagetown (Portal Tomb) — Images

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Savagetown (Portal Tomb) — Miscellaneous

From archaeology.ie:

Description: Located on a shelf on a gentle W-facing slope, and facing E (upslope). The roofstone (L 3.4m; T 0.6m) is resting on a portal-stone and the S sidestone. The backstone is present but the rest of the tomb is obscured by a field bank. (Ó Nualláin 1983, 103)

The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1999). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.

Kilbarrymeaden (Bullaun Stone) — Images

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Sheshkin (near Stradbally) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Sheshkin (near Stradbally)</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Sheshkin (near Stradbally)</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Sheshkin (near Stradbally)</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Sheshkin (near Stradbally)</b>Posted by ryaner

Rockmarshall (Court Tomb) — Images

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Drumnasillagh (Court Tomb) — Images

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Drumnasillagh (Court Tomb) — Miscellaneous

The following description is derived from both the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Louth' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1986) and the 'Archaeological Survey of County Louth' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1991). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.
Date of upload/revision: 17 July 2007

This court-tomb is incorporated in a roughly trapezoidal cairn some 30m long and 20m wide at the WSW, narrowing to 7.1m wide at the ESE. There is a well-defined court at the W leading to the gallery area which is covered by cairn material. The court, 7.5m wide and 6m deep, embraces almost three-quarters of a circle and is represented by 14 orthostats, 7 at either side. Two large slabs lie at the inner end of the court. A single façade stone stands beyond the N arm of the court. Two kerb stones are exposed at the E end of the cairn and a field wall runs along its southern side. (PRIA (C) 1960, 128-9)

Drumnasillagh (Court Tomb) — Images

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Commons (Court Tomb) — Images

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Taxi-driving, graphic artist with a penchant for high hills and low boulders. Currently residing in Tallaght where I can escape to the wildernesses of Wicklow within 10 minutes.

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