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


Court Tomb


Situated in a relatively isolated part of the large Ballyreagh townland, this was our last visit on a busy day. Back at Cloghtogle, Ann Orr had recommended that we visit this and mentioned that the landowner was friendly and very proud of the monument on his land. We’d just been down the road at the Three Stones and headed over as the sun began its long descent to setting.

Access was through the farmyard of the owner who duly agreed with a nod of the head and an away you go. The tombs sit on rising ground on the northern side of Ballyreagh Hill. With its covering cairn and kerbstones it would have been an powerful sight. Denuded and with its two, eastern and western, chambers exposed it still retains the power to impress.

The eastern tomb is the more striking. Two large, unmatched entrance portals dominate. The socketed sidestones with the segmenting jambstones offer a pleasing, almost perfect rectangular two-chambered gallery. I say this only because of the amount of places I visit that have been completely trashed. There don’t seem to be any remains of a forecourt.

The western tomb is longer but with lower stones. Again it’s a two-chambered gallery, but with a small ante-chamber. Most of the stones are satisfyingly bulky. There does appear to be the remains of part of the forecourt.

We stopped and sat a while here. Though it’s in a relatively isolated spot the effects of the vagaries of time are noticeable – houses, abandoned outbuildings, pylons and wires, the denudation of the tomb cairn itself. Some of the kerbstones remain and cairn rubble is visible in places and overall it’s a bit messy. Yet, as you move around the tombs, you can’t help getting pulled into the mystery of the place, drawn by the spine of the monument into skeletal imaginings of who built this place and what their lives were like, the stones retaining the power to amaze.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd July 2021ce
Edited 23rd July 2021ce

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