'Knockcurraghbola Crowlands (east)' : Wedge Tomb

TownlandKnockcurraghbola Crowlands
CountyTipperary
Grid RefR 943 593
GPSR 94278 59339 (9m)
Longitude8° 5' 4.64" W
Latitude52° 41' 6.88" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBorrisoleigh (11.5 Km)
OS Sheet66
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
Hide map  (N.B. Google Maps & GPS readings are slightly out of sync - position is approximate)
Show inline map (by Google Maps)

Visit Notes

Friday, 31st December 2004

Standing by the nearby standing stone my attention was drawn to this raised platform-like area on a spur of land that sticks out in to the valley. Its steep sides drop away to the valley floor below where a stream rushes past. There seem to be some odd earthworks around the edge of this platform, which is what originally got my attention.

As I approached I could see a few stones set into the spur. One of these is an east-west aligned orthostat and the others are smaller stones which, I think, are sections of a kerb . Next to the central orthostat another slab lies on the ground.

From the very scant remains I would say that this was once a wedge tomb very similar to Baurnadomeeny (County Tipperary), with a circular kerb around the east-west aligned gallery . The positioning of the monument is very similar to that at Baurnadomeeny and this too would have aligned with the highest point on the hill to the east in the interestingly named townland of Graniera.

I think this tomb would have been exceptional and was actually the focus of the monuments in the immediate area. It's a real shame that it has been lost.

Standing stones, also called menhirs or monoliths, are the most simple of megalithic monuments. They are exactly what they say, a stone that stands with one end set into the ground. Being simple in form does not make them simple to understand, for they have served several purposes over time. Some were placed to mark burials, others were probably erected to mark boundaries or travel routes, the purpose of others is uncertain, but it may well have been ritual.

Standing stones can vary enormously in size from a under 1m tall to over 4m. Some have been purposely shaped (see Stone Of Destiny (County Meath)) and some must have been chosen purely for their shape (see Ballyvatheen (County Kilkenny)). Most standing stones are dated to be from the Bronze Age, but some are clearly older, especially those associated with passage tombs such as at Knowth (County Meath) and Loughcrew - Corstown (County Meath).

Others have been re-used in later times (see Kilnasaggart (County Armagh) and Breastagh (County Mayo)), perhaps to try and capture some of the powers of the old gods or to legitamise a claim to land.

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).

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.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

___

Like this monument

Marked Sites

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.

Valid CSS Valid HTML
Page loaded from cache: (Generation time: September 23 2019 08:18:36.)
Top of page | Feedback | About this site
© Copyright Tom FourWinds 2001-2019