'Kilmashogue' : Wedge Tomb

TownlandKilmashogue Hill
CountyDublin
Grid RefO 151 244
GPSO 15115 24387 (5m)
Longitude6° 16' 29.5" W
Latitude53° 15' 26.49" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownTallaght (6.8 Km)
OS Sheet50
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

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Kilmashogue - Kilmashogue Hill - Standing Stone
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 8th September 2001

The cairn here is robbed out and flattened. Several kerb stones remain in place as does the floor of the cairn. The surrounding ditch and bank can still clearly be seen. The gallery walls are still evident and these are double lined, usually a style found in wedge tombs. The entrance to the rectangular chamber faces directly towards the mound at Montpelier (County Dublin).

The chamber appears to be no more than a widening of the passageway with the huge entrance stone is still in situ. This is a very peaceful and calming location. Despite being just 100m from a busy car park used by people setting off along the Wicklow Way any noise is cut out by the thick woods around it.

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).

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Saturday, 16th February 2002

When you park just 60m from a wedge tomb to go somewhere else how can you not pop in to take another look?

Just up the hill from the car park I wonder how many of the people from the 20 cars parked below either know that this tomb is here or bother to visit it.

In order to get some better photos I climbed a couple of trees today to enable me to look down on this lovely little tomb.

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.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Thursday, 11th April 2002

A great site to take people to. It is very easy to demonstrate the triple walling of this wedge and to show how later kist burials have been inserted into the cairn.

There are two kinds of burial chamber that are refered to as cists or kists. Kist is usually used to refer to a megalithic structure and cist used for later Bronze Age burials.

Cists are small slab lined boxes, set into the ground, with a single slab used as a cover. They tend to be no larger than 1.5m square. Although cists are found in dedicated mounds or cairns they are often later insertions into megalithic cairns (see Kilmashogue (County Dublin)).

Kists are much bigger structures and usually built above ground level (see Dolmen of the Four Maols (County Mayo))and covered by a cairn. They are usually rectangular in plan with vertical sides, but one type, known as a Linkardstown Kist is pentagonal with sloping side stones (see Cloghtogle (County Fermanagh)).

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Saturday, 20th July 2002

Anthony's first vist to this odd tomb. Without the one side stone of the chamber it is difficult to grasp the form. The kist burials to the rear of the chamber still make me smile. The one in particular is a very good example.

Sunday, 10th June 2012

I can't believe it's been so long since I visited this local tomb. It was one of the first sites I visited and it has a special place in my mind.

I can't add much more about this wedge tomb really, except to say that the trees have grown a lot and are cutting the light out especially on an overcast day like today. Hopefully, my photos turned out ok!

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

Marked Sites

3D Anaglyph Images

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3D Animations

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Directions

From the R113 in south Dublin follow the signs for the Wicklow Way and park in the car park at O150 245. There are some steps in the car park that lead onto the track above. Directly above these steps there is a path leading up into the trees. This tomb is about 50m up this track.

Random Gazetteer

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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