Ballinillaun : Court Tomb

Grid RefM 286 999
GPSM 28645 99872 (30m)
Longitude9° 5' 12.4" W
Latitude53° 56' 35.56" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownFoxford (4.5 Km)
OS Sheet31
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 14th January 2007

Once I'd located the field that this tomb is in it didn't take me long to spot its location - in that big clump of trees! The remains of this monument are a bit scant. There are two stones from the court and the rear of the gallery is mainly missing. The front chamber of the gallery is in good condition though. One huge jamb (1.5m high) marks one side of the entrance while its opposite counterpart has been broken off. The orthostats that define the chamber are 50cms tall and 1.8m long. There is only one jamb marking the separation of the two chambers.

The site occupies the highest drumlin-type hillock in the immediate surroundings, but due to modern field boundaries it is only really possible to get any idea of the view to the north past Foxford. To the west it should be possible to see Croaghmoyle and Farbreiga Mountains and it's possible that the sun may set between these around the Equinox. The most impressive mountain visible from here would be Nephim, although there probably aren't any significant alignments to this.

A barrow is essentially a mound of earth over one or more burials. They are more usually to be dated to the Bronze Age. There are many forms of barrow including ring, bowl, long and bell barrows.

Ring barrows are formed by digging a circular trench or fosse around a central burial, with no mound.

Bowl barrows are formed by heaping up soil over the burial(s) from a surrounding fosse, these often have an external bank too (see Ballyremon Commons (County Wicklow)).

Bell barows are simply round mounds with no fosse or external bank.

Long barrows are rare in Ireland and are more common in southwest England. Their shape is basically ovoid rather than round (see Ballynoe (County Down))

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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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