Ballylumford : Passage Tomb

Grid RefD 430 016
GPSD 43008 01615 (5m)
Longitude5° 46' 25.09" W
Latitude54° 50' 30.58" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownLarne (2.8 Km)
OS Sheet9
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 25th February 2007

What an odd place this is. It has held some fascination for me for a long, long time. This is because it is in somebody's front drive ... right outside their front door! It's also quite a pain to get to. It is right next to the road, but the road is on the end of Island Magee, a long peninsular. This makes driving to it quite a chore. Ironically I deleted the photos I took of it from my camera, so I will have to make the journey again!

The tomb is a passageless passage tomb . Whether it originally had a passage is unknown. Pictures from the 1800s show it without a passage. It is rather similar to the passage tomb at Craigs Lower (County Antrim). A large roundish capstone rests on some uprights that are about 1.8m high. The chamber formed by these is a little over 1m square.

Most pictures on the internet show the house being painted white, but it is now a brownish colour. I wasn't looking out for a brownish house and drove right past it.

Passage tombs are perhaps the most celebrated style of tombs, mainly due to the fantastic examples at Newgrange (County Meath), Knowth (County Meath) and Dowth (County Meath) in the Boyne Valley as well as those at Loughcrew (County Meath), which is by far the best place to experience these wonders.

The classical form of passage tomb is the cruciform style, where a long passage leads to a main chamber with 3 small chambers off, forming a cross when viewed from above. However, there are many other styles, some don't even have a passage! These other forms are with a round chamber (see Fourknocks (County Meath)), a polygonal chamber or in the form of a cross of Lorraine, which can be found at Seefin Hill (County Wicklow).

There is one form known as an undifferentiated passage tomb wherein the chamber is simply a broadening of the passage, such as at Matthewstown (County Waterford).

The passage and chamber was, once constructed, covered in a mound of earth or a stone cairn, which was in turn held in place with a kerb around its perimeter.

Perhaps what Irish passage tombs are most known for is the form of rock art more commonly called passage grave art, which can be seen in abundance along the Boyne Valley in the many cemeteries.

Sunday, 30th September 2007

Ok. So it was a bit silly to delete my photos of this site after my first visit. This time I made sure that I didn't do the same thing again. This site takes ages to reach and I don't really want to have to do it again. This might be a very unusual monument, because of its location, but once you've seen it ... you've seen it.

Like this monument

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Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Passage 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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