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



Portal Tomb

<b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
Nearest Town:Bellananagh (5km NE)
OS Ref (IE):   N348963 / Sheet: 34
Latitude:53° 54' 53.5" N
Longitude:   7° 28' 13.23" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Carrickclevan</b>Posted by ryaner


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This took a bit of finding, not wholly unsurprising at this time of the year. We parked up the way of the cul de sac and walked a couple of hundred metres. A farmer and his son were harvesting in the field we needed to traverse and he was very happy to allow us head over to the tomb. His directions of “off up to the right” were as helpful as trying to use the old OS map, but in the end he was right, just that the tomb was on the wrong side of the hedge and completely overgrown on the side from which we approached.

It’s a little gem really. Leaving aside it’s overgrown state and the fact that some of the trees may eventually collapse the whole structure, there’s quite a lot left. Both portals, both sidetones and most of the capstone are extant, if not in their exact original position. The southern portal and sidetone are both leaning inwards. The large capstone, estimated at 6 tons (see folklore below) has had a portion snap off at the rear of the chamber where the backstone seems to be missing.

Opened up and allowed to breathe a little, Carrickclevan would be by no means a spectacular, show site – it’s not even head height. Which is not to say that it couldn’t do with a bit of love – it squats there, almost as an afterthought, slightly shamefaced, cowering beneath all that vegetation. After spending a bit of time we left, happy to have found it, almost lost and unloved, but now re-discovered.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
10th August 2020ce
Edited 14th August 2020ce


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In the townland of Carrickacleven there is a little garden and in it there is a rock shaped like a mouth. It is said that there is money under it, and an old woman minding it and there is to be a life lost at the getting of it.

In the same townland there is a house with five big stones and the one on top is said to bear the weight of six tons. A long time ago there were priests and ministers at it and they said there is an old chieftain buried there and all his riches with him in a crock coffin.

Some people came to it one night after they heard what was under it. They dug until they came to a flag that is over the chieftain and they could get no further. So no one ever went near it after that.
From the 1930s Schools Collection of folklore, now being transcribed at There is a photo and description in the 1972 Survey of the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland but I don't know how it's faring now.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th June 2018ce