Crowagh : Portal Tomb

CountySligo
Grid RefG 421 294
Longitude8° 53' 15.08" W
Latitude54° 12' 36.6" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDromore West (4.4 Km)
OS Sheet24
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 17th August 2003

This one squats on a ridge overlooking a very small mini-valley that has been cut by a wide babbling stream, which runs and plays over its pebbly bed. It has a massive capstone, which has crushed chamber and pushed the portal stones and door stone forward to about 60 degrees.

The portal faces east. The Ox mountains rise up to the south filling the horizon. The is evidence of a long cairn,which can be traced to 18m behind the chamber. There are signs of a possible kerb .

Despite the collapse the impressive capstone still reaches a height of over 2m.

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

Portal stones are a pair of upright stones that form the 'entrance' to a portal tomb. They are usually well matched, being of even dimensions. As well as forming this doorway they also act as the front support for the capstone and are usually taller than the stones that form the chamber.

Often there is a door stone in between them blocking off access to the chamber within.

A kerb is a ring of stones placed around the perimeter of a burial mound or cairn. It basically serves the purpose of a retaining wall to keep the cairn or earth in place. Kerbs are usually associated with passage tombs, but do occur on court tombs and wedge tombs too.

Sometimes on passage tombs the stones can bear decoration, such as at Newgrange (County Meath).

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Sunday, 25th March 2007

Back in 2003 I nearly bought the land that this monument stands on. Sadly I had to drop out. It would have been lovely to be able to live in the little cottage 70m from the tomb one day. I've not wanted to go back since, to be honest, because not being able to buy it was quite upsetting.

Anyway, today I did finally come back and see what the new owners had done to the place. They've done a good job of the cottage - perhaps doing a bit more to it that I would have done - but they've done terrible 'landscapey' to the land. They have planted trees on the peat bog that surrounds the tomb, so one day it will lose all its views and will not be visible from the ford.

I was most disturbed by the very large ''Private Property - Keep Out' signs by the gate. I hope the new owners decide to allow people to visit this monument.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Like this monument

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Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Portal Tombs

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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