Gortbrack North : Court Tomb

Grid RefF 792 355
GPSF 79241 35546 (3m)
Longitude9° 51' 11.23" W
Latitude54° 15' 15.89" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBellmullet (9.3 Km)
OS Sheet22
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 13th September 2009

Only the tops of the stones are visible at this site, because there is still a substantial mound around them. Enough of the stones are visible to determine the size and layout of the gallery , though, but not the court. The mound is around 1m high and is currently round. The gallery is not central to this, so it may have been altered at some point.

This is one interpretation of the remains: The gallery is around 1.2m wide, 4m long and split into two unequal length chambers by a full-width septal slab. The rear chamber is smaller than the front one. There are two small, but well-matched entrance stones at the southern end. The monument is aligned northeast-southwest. The backstone is very unusual. It is L-shaped, but the L was not used to form the back and side of the gallery: it was placed so that the L extends away from the gallery. A number of large stones set a few metres in front of the gallery could be the remains of the court.

Another way to consider the remains is as follows: There are two stones set just outside the stones I described as the entrance stones above. This could indicate that these are not entrance stones, but a pair of jambs splitting the gallery into three chambers. If this is the case then the stones a few metres away could be the entrance jambs and court. This arrangement would make the gallery at least 7m long.

The hills around the site are very low, but still restrict the views to the immediate area. A small cluster of houses near to the site are all that can be really seen from here now.

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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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