Legland : Court Tomb

Grid RefH 077 504
GPSH 07724 50407 (9m)
Longitude7° 52' 51.79" W
Latitude54° 24' 7.63" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownGarrison (13.5 Km)
OS Sheet17
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 3rd October 2004

This one took some finding as the buildings near to the tomb don't look like those marked on the OS map. I drove up to the farmhouse only to find that it is a new one still under construction and, being a Sunday, there was no one around.

The tomb is situated by the side of a wall and many of the slabs from it have been used in a sction of the wall. The gallery is just about marked out by a backstone to the west, a couple of the sidestones and a slab that would have blocked half the entrance. The ground is quite raised around it, which probably marks out the extent of the cairn or mound that once covered the tomb.

This monument could have been a wedge tomb , but the eastern orientation would be unusual and the mound would be very long - perhaps it is a hybrid.

The tomb looks out towards the extreme profile of Knockmore Cliff where there is a large cave, known as The Lettered Cave opens out next to a rock stack at the base of the cliff. If anyone knows anything about this cave, I'd love to hear about it.

Wedge tombs are most easily catagorised by their main characteristic - they are taller and wider at the entrance than they are at the rear. Like court tombs they have a gallery which is split either by septal slabs or sill stones into smaller chambers. Galleries can be anything up to 8m in length.

The side walls are, uniquely, made of two rows of stones (three in some cases), which is refered to as double or triple walling. This double walling is perhaps the best feature to identify a wedge tomb by.

The roofs are constructed by laying large blocks or slabs across the gallery, resting on the tops of the walls.

They are often quite small, an amazing exception being Labbacallee (County Cork), one of the largest in Ireland. It is very rare to find a wedge tomb with its roof still in situ, although, occasionally, one or two of the roof slabs are present (see Proleek (County Louth)).

In some examples the roof would have extended beyond the front closing slab forming a portico at the front, which in a few specimens was split by a vertical stone place centrally in the entrance.

Like court tombs, portal tombs and passage tombs they were covered by a cairn, which, at many sites, it is still often possible to determine. A few, such as Burren SW (County Cavan), still retain a large proportion of the cairn.

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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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