Templemoyle : Portal Tomb

Grid RefC 502 498
GPSC 50160 49846 (7m)
Longitude7° 12' 37.18" W
Latitude55° 17' 34.69" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownCuldaff (2.9 Km)
OS Sheet3
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 1st February 2004

Although this little tomb has collapsed it s quite wonderful. It is built on a rocky spur overlooking a large area of lowland to the south west.

The sidestones and backstone of the chamber are still in place, but the capstone has tipped forward because someone has removed the portal stones . One is missing altogether and the other lies splayed out to one side.

The chamber is just 1m wide and 1.8m long. The remaining portal stone would have stood just about 1.8m high. The capstone is 3m long and just 1.5m wide.

The view to the west is of Trawbreaga Bay and Doagh Island, which, because of the profusion of rock-art there, one has to assume was a very special place. The view to the south west is towards Slieve Snaght and it is possible that the mid-winter sunset might be just to the left of the main peak.

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.

The large rock used to form the roof of a portal tomb or kist.

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.

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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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