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


Wedge Tomb


I saw some shots elsewhere that showed that the trees have been felled from around the tomb and I had to investigate. I’ve approached from the farm track to the north-east of the tomb on the occasions I’ve previously visited. Looking back at the shots from those visits on here it seems that it’s been eight years since I was last here. That’s a bit of a shock, considering that it’s such a well-preserved and fine example of a wedge tomb as to be found anywhere else. I guess the off-putting restriction of the views and adventures in other parts have meant that I’ve ignored the place.

This time we approached from the south, across what used to be a golf course and is now The GAP (Glencullen Adventure Park), a hybrid mountain-bike, trekkers adventure fun-park. You can park here Wednesday to Sunday for €2. Access to the tomb is easy, a 15 minute stroll, partially uphill, but not at all strenuous. The old tree-line is still visible directly south of the monument – these trees are of the same vintage as those recently felled so more hope there, except that the GAP seem to use this area for some forested mountain-bike tracks. Also, I don’t suppose that it will be anytime soon when Coillte will take the views from ancient sites into consideration when they plant and re-plant trees. Looking at the photos in the excavation report from 1945, the forestry is a relatively recent addition. And now that they’re gone I wonder will Coillte allow at least the eastern and south-eastern views to remain. I didn’t see any new planting so we can hope.

The views aside, the thing that Ballyedmonduff has going for it is that so much of it remains. When Ó Ríordáin and de Valéra arrived to conduct their excavation, it seems that much of it was contained within its covering cairn, minus the chamber roofstones. They did find some interference and they did remove all of the soil and cairn material, but what you see is very much the skeleton of an almost perfect wedge tomb, aligned just about west/-east, with the entrance at the west. It had been speculated by some that Howth would be visible from here and as we headed up we could indeed see the peninsula but then on arrival you realise that the north-east shoulder of what is Two Rock mountain blocks that view. The tomb has two chambers and one ante-chamber, almost a complete and continuous set of double-walling, almost complete revetment between the walling and the chambers and much of the orthostats of those chambers. One of its stones has cupmarks.

The tomb lies there on a slight slope, pancaked almost and breathing freely and much more fascinating than when crowded. A few miles almost directly north-east Killiney Head hugs the shore. Swing around 90 degrees and there are the Sugar Loaves, revealed at last. Over the rear of the tomb almost due east is Newtown Hill with its barrows and standing stone. At the hill’s foot to the south is Johnny Foxes famous pub in Glencullen village. This ever popular tourist draw brings thousands on a weekly basis. Hopefully Ballyedmonduff wedge tomb stays protected from the hordes. The glorious quartz obelisk of Glencullen standing stone remains mostly ignored. There are works continuing in the vicinity so Ballyedmonduff will be worth checking on every once in a while.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th March 2021ce
Edited 16th March 2021ce

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