Magheranaul : Wedge Tomb

Grid RefC 434 499
GPSC 43387 49940 (5m)
Longitude7° 19' 0.96" W
Latitude55° 17' 40.05" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMalin (3.6 Km)
OS Sheet3
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 1st February 2004

Labbacallee (County Cork) is spectacular. Carrowcrom (County Mayo) is lovely. Magheranaul is brilliant! What a lovely example this is.

This tomb is actually very similar to Carrowcrom, but it is more complete and more untouched. It too has some cairn material around its gallery and all the stones of the gallery (including the roof) are present. What makes this site so special is its appaarent remoteness (although it's not really all that remote) and the doorstone.

This is still in situ, but has been prized open so that it leand forward slightly, allowing access into the gallery. What really adds to the tomb is the hole pierced in the doorslab. This seems to have been made by drilling through the front of the stone to meet a natural hollow on the back of the stone.

A bit of folklore says that this was a giant's house and when thunder rumbled he would retreat into his lair , put a finger through the hole and shut the door behind him.

Unfortunately, the profusion of rock-art in the vicinity escaped my attentions: it started raining very heavily and I didn't feel like trudging around fields looking for it. I'll be back though, but I suspect that much of it will have grown over by now.

A cairn is a large pile of stones, quite often (but not always) containing a burial. Sometimes they have a kerb around the base.

Most cairns are hemi-spherical (like half a football), but the piles of stones used to cover wedge tombs, court tombs and portal tombs are also called cairns. When associated with these types of monument they are not always round, but sometimes rectangular or trapezoidal.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites


The rock art in the nearby fields was destroyed during field clearance in 1988.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Wedge 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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