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

Doohatty Glebe

Court Tomb


Third time lucky? No such thing. Third time I knew exactly where the tomb is because of the excellence of the mapping at the NISMR which I hadn’t got the last two times I was here. Start at the forest track on the Ulster Way where it crosses the Swanlinbar to Enniskillen road. There’s a place to park that doesn’t block any farm gates and it’s over a stile and along a field track.

Benaughlin is prominent to the west as you start to rise out of a small valley bottom. It’s not at all strenuous and after about 1,200 metres you take a left turn, off the Way. Another 300 metres in a south-westerly direction, the dot on the OS map could mean that the tomb is well in to the left off the track. It isn’t. The central chamber of a sprawling, ‘star-shaped’ cairn is 20 metres off the track. In fact, some of the cairn almost reaches the track itself.

It was excavated by Wakeham in 1882. It was he who first described a ’starfish-shaped’ cairn or a star-shaped cairn. This is now thought to have come about by, according to Estyn Evans, ‘the accidental result of pillage.’ Whatever about all that it’s evident that someone cares enough to come here and cut back some of the under/overgrowth and stop it completely inundating the gallery and chambers.

We mooched around for a bit – it’s not the easiest on the eye nor on the ankles. There’s a large amount of cairn rubble in both the small northern chamber and the larger southern one. Herbage of various sorts obscures the small arm at the south-east of the gallery. Vibes-wise I would say for the completists only, or maybe for those who still want to bear witness to the burial rites of the ancestors.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
30th May 2021ce

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