Munmahoge : Wedge Tomb

CountyWaterford
Grid RefS 577 061
GPSS 57669 06084
Longitude7° 9' 22.95" W
Latitude52° 12' 13.08" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownTramore (5.2 Km)
OS Sheets75, 76
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 5th May 2007

I spoke to two farmers on the way to this site. Despite knowing of other sites in the area and seeing Knockeen (County Waterford) every day across the valley, the younger one didn't know that there was a monument on his land, but the elder of the two knew all the sites in the area. The latter gave me rough directions and off I set.

The first thing I came across was a suspicious looking stone in the hedge, but knowing what remains of the site I knew I hadn't found it yet. This slab must have come from the tomb, though. I walked along the hedgerow and saw two huge stones through a small gap. As I climbed into the hedge it opened out into a little glade bounded on one side by these two large slabs on one side and, running at right angles to these, the tomb.

There is no cairn remaining and it's difficult to say what relationship the two large stone originally had with the monument. The largest certainly doesn't have the right shape to have been a roofstone. If it was part of the kerb then it was a massive kerb.

The east-west aligned gallery is more complete on the south side. At least two wall slabs are missing from the north side. There is a solitary roofstone in place at the west end and a second one leans against the outside of the south wall.

The site is on a gentle north facing slope, just 20m from where the it starts to run steeply down to the stream below. If this wasn't inside the hedge the views to the north would take in Knockeen [portal tomb] and the rocky ridge beyond. To the west you would be able to see the rocky outcrop known locally as the Sugar Loaf.

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.

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).

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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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