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


Court Tomb


I decided that we’d try Megaman’s approach to Creggandevesky – it seemingly avoids all the mud and treachery of the Lough Mallon way. Also, there is the remains of a supposed wedge tomb on the way down the lane. In the end this way is barred, ‘the very end of the road’ as Megaman suggests is actually someone’s driveway. We asked a friendly local and he recommended us not taking that route anyway, the Jersey bull in the field nearby being an even hardier deterrent. And then there was the weather – horizontal rain stinging our faces on the way back up to the car, I said to Paulie – yer man must think we’re a right pair of gobshites.

Our first foray had pretty much softened our cough as we pulled into the the side of the road beside the waterworks. There’s nothing like a drenching to take all the excitement out of a day out. I did get to the aforementioned wedge tomb, but the last time we were here at this spot I had to leg it back to Dublin because of a Covid emergency. And I wasn’t feeling too optimistic now. But hey, people here know what happens when you have that hunger and then I spotted the kissing gate between the first and second field and knew I was on the right track.

(A little aside here: In Creggandevesky townland there is a sign for Cregganconroe court tomb at the T-junction. There are no other signs of any description around that I could see. Coincidentally, in Cregganconroe, at the T-junction, there’s a fancy sign for Creggandevesky court tomb, and nothing for the local tomb that I could find. I couldn’t help feeling that the local burghers of both townlands don’t want the likes of you or I traipsing around the locality and would much prefer if you would fuck off 2 miles up the road to the other site. Nifty plan and seems to go against the reports of the Creggandevesky landowners pride in their monument, so I could be wrong, but experiences at Cregganconroe later in the day told me I’m not.)

In the pelting rain we set off on the southern route around the lake. It would be a nice trek in mild conditions, maybe a little soggy here and there, but there was precious little pleasure to be had getting lashed on. The tomb sits atop a small esker, part of which on the lake-side has been quarried for gravel. Much of the land in the vicinity has been altered, reclaimed, improved, and so here. As with a lot of the tombs in the north that are in state care, this one is fenced in and the fence is way too tight onto the monument. It seems that the compulsory purchase orders of these sites never take into account their visual contexts.

Despite the fence, Creggandevesky court tomb is really rather beautiful, the excavation and reconstruction/restoration leaving us with a near perfect example of its kind. Its construction reminded me of Annaghmare in South Armagh with its mixture of orthostats and dry-stone walling. However, the stones in the court here are much bulkier, the facade stones of the court the largest of the tomb, giving the whole construction a wedge shape as it tapers downwards along the gallery towards the rear.

Except for the wind and rain – all I could do was duck under the fantastic entrance lintel and crouch down beside the northern sidestones of the first chamber – I was really enjoying myself. With a bit of half-decent weather this would be a nice spot to pass a few hours, Lough Mallon offering a serene backdrop.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
25th May 2021ce
Edited 15th June 2021ce

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