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Callaigh Berra's House

Passage Grave


The cairn is rather convex at top; in the centre is the mouth of the cavern; the roof is formed by large flat stones, regularly placed to support the incumbent weight, and in the descent lapped over each other with a sufficient bearing. I have been told that within is a spacious apartment, and that, but a few years ago, it was easily entered; but now there are such huge blocks rolled in, and the entrance is so very narrow, that they could not be removed but by mechanic powers.

From the mouth of the cave there extends a wide and regular range of flagging to the edge of the lake, evidently the work of hands; it is said by the peasants in this district to be the roof of a covered passage, but this seems very improbable, as the soil here is a deep wet bog, which could not bear an excavation to support so great a weight as these flags must have; it rather appears to have been a dry passage outside from the cave to the lake, though, indeed, the magnitude of the stones, adn the same kind not being found in other parts of the mountain, render it very improbable that they should be carried up this long and steep way for any secondary or immaterial purpose.
He then mentions that 'there is no doubt' that this cavern was once the abode of robbers like the celebrated O'Hanlon ('long the scourge and terror both of farmers and travellers') - but this reads as romantic speculation despite his certainty.

p38 of 'Statistical Survey of the County of Armagh' by Sir Charles Coote (1804), now online at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th June 2007ce
Edited 18th June 2007ce

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