Corderry : Wedge Tomb

Grid RefR 826 299
GPSR 82575 29851 (3m)
Longitude8° 15' 22.14" W
Latitude52° 25' 11.93" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownGalbally (3.6 Km)
OS Sheet74
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 27th December 2008

In the summer this monument can take some finding as it stands amongst thick gorse that is supplemented by bracken and other vegetation then. It's quite hard to find in the winter when all you have to hinder you is the gorse. However, making the effort is very rewarding as this is an almost perfect example of a wedge tomb .

Two roofslabs remain on the gallery and a slightly displaced one lies across a possible portico feature. The gap between these was probably occupied with the large stone that lies at the base of the latter. It is possible to access the gallery through this gap. All the orthostats of the gallery are present, with just one leaning slightly inwards. The front roofslab over the gallery is held level on one side by a large chocking stone.

This site is all about the views to the south where it looks out over the Glen of Aherlow to the Galtee Mountains on the other side. The main problem with visiting at this time of year is that the sun never reaches the north side of the hills, leaving most of the valley below in shadow.

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.

Like this monument

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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.

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