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


Court Tomb


A well-preserved example of a Court-tomb, situated on a basalt plateau at a height of 190 metres on the west side of the Long Mountain. The more easily accessable 'Craig's Dolmen' Passage tomb lies 600m SW.

When I say 'well-preserved', the remains of a north-south aligned court tomb is set in the remnants of its oval cairn (approx 15x12m) with traces of the stone kerb defining the perimeter. At the south end is the semicircular forecourt, mostly missing, facing SSE, from which the burial gallery opens between two large, slablike portal stones, separated by a septal. The gallery seems to be divided into three chambers with stone jambs and sills, with the farthest chamber being almost circular in plan.

This is where things get confusing. According to the Historic Monuments and Buildings branch of the DOE (NI), the large capstone was a mid-19th century addition, giving the false impression of a 'dolmen'.

Apart from the strange additions, and the rather restrictive fence surrounding the site, it really is worth seeking out for a visit. This is one of three tombs in the area (out of at least 18 in County Antrim) which are in State care, and the grass surrounding the stones had just been cut when i visited.

Getting here is a little tricky, I approached from the A26, heading NW between Ballymena and Ballymoney. About halfway along, pass the junction to the right with the A44 (Armoy, Ballycastle) and take the next left, a few hundred metres further on, signposted Dunloy. This is where the road numbering ends. head straight into Dunloy over the level-crossing and at the crossroads in the village go straight ahead (bearing slightly right) Carry on down this undulating road for about 3.5km until you come to a crossroads at Mullan Head, and turn left. This road is called 'Mullan ___?' (sorry for my poor memory) Continue down this road for approx 1km, and take the third lane on the left. The lane heads straight to a private house, but bear right at the entrance, and the lane deteriorates into a rocky track up the side of a disused quarry pit (marked on OS map) after bending to the right, the track emerges onto open hillside. Keep your eyes peeled around the third field gate on the right, the site lies about 200m west of the track. (Oh, and watch out for the bull...)

**EDIT 05 Sept. - was passing the site today, and found the lane to the site securely padlocked with a stern notice posted forbidding entrance.
Posted by minipixel
15th June 2006ce
Edited 5th September 2007ce

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