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


Wedge Tomb


Most of the small hamlet of Valleymount survived the 1940 inundation that drowned the village of Ballynahown (memories of which can be found here ) not a kilometre north-east of it, thirst for water and hunger for power necessitating the damming of the Liffey at Poulaphuca falls. A story is told of the Valleymount man who stayed put until the last moment, clinging on hopelessly against the literal and relentless rising tide of modernity, only to have to give in eventually as the water lapped across his doorstep.

What remains of Valleymount is now a narrow, northwards pointing peninsula, the drowned Kings river valley to its west and the largest expanse of the Poulaphuca reservoir, created by the dam on the Liffey, to its east. On the southern shore of the reservoir was discovered/identified in 2010 this small wedge tomb. It was rescue excavated by Chris Corlett not long after, the urgency brought about by the tomb’s proximity to the shoreline and the threat of consistent erosion from the rise and fall of the lake levels.

You can access the area from central Dublin by taking the 65 bus that occasionally terminates on the Ballyknockan road. Directly north of the bus stop about 200 metres across the field is the tomb.

The wedge tomb is not much to look at but the setting is beautiful. The water gently laps a few metres away and the abandoned pleasure boat nearby adds a Ballardian sense of weirdness to the altered environment. The view north across the lake to Carrig with it’s complex of monuments is probably best appreciated on an intermittently cloudy day like today, the changeable sky offering varying light and perspective. Plants are encroaching on the tomb and, without the plan on, it’s difficult to interpret, with many unsocketed stones confusing the whole array. We spent quite a while here, wistfully lost in thought and our own meanderings, together but all the while separate, maybe mesmerised by the ghosts of the sunken Ballynahown, and those of the small tomb builders.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
7th May 2021ce
Edited 7th May 2021ce

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