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



Chambered Tomb

<b>Latbirget</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
OS Ref (GB):   
Latitude:54° 8' 2.61" N
Longitude:   6° 28' 47.49" W

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<b>Latbirget</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Latbirget</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Latbirget</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Latbirget</b>Posted by ryaner


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The neighbouring Ballykeel dolmen is the glamour site in this area. There’s a quite fast-flowing stream north of it at Ballykeel bridge that has an old disused corn mill and hydroelectric plant. Above the mill the river has been split in two with various sluices and channels still very much in evidence. It’s all quite fascinating but isn’t the reason why we came here today.

In the next field along to the north and behind the mill is this strange arrangement of stones. The note at the Northern Ireland Sites & Monuments Record says this: “A group of 3 stones remains in situ incorporated into a recent field wall. One slab 2.2m long has been set on edge & stands 0.9m high & on W side of this are 2 pillar like stones, one at each end. The S stone is 1.6m high & the N is a little lower. Paterson recorded a "2nd chamber in the next field" which could mean this was a court tomb, with the N stone as the back stone of a gallery & the S as one of a pair of dividing jambs. It may also however have been a portal tomb & classification remains uncertain. Topsoil stripping on a area c.100m SW of this site was carried out under archaeological supervision, prior to development. No archaeological deposits or artefacts were identified on the development site [F.MacM., 22/05/06].”

Whether it was a court or portal tomb is hard to figure, but it could be said that it was massive, if it was either. The slab to the north doesn’t really look like the portal stone of a portal tomb and the massive recumbent is quite low to be a doorstone of the same. So my best guess would be a court tomb, which again begs the question, why leave the three stones behind? Why not destroy the whole thing altogether? Maybe the landowner thought it a convenient arrangement to incorporate into his field fence, but the north and south stones are set transversely and jut out into the field considerably to the point where it would be just as easy to remove them. So maybe, excepting Paterson’s second chamber, it’s not the remains of a tomb at all.

It reminded me of the remains at Aghmakane not even a mile north-east up the road to Camlough – like it, probably one best left to the completists and total nerds.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st September 2020ce
Edited 1st September 2020ce