I kept coming across reports from hillwalkers of a 'small Newgrange like' tomb on Two Rock Mountain and was mystified. I knew for a fact that the cairn on Two Rocks was indistinguishable from a cairn as the passage is now hidden by fallen cairn rubble.
After some digging about I finally found out that they were referring to Tibradden the hill on the opposite side of Two Rocks to Three Rocks. The one report said that it contained a bee-hive chamber and passage, but I could find no reference to it on any megalithic web site. I was also given a piece of text detailing that in fact the round chamber was actually built to allow easy access to the kist burial within in the 1850 excavation.
Obviously, I decided that a visit was in order. The walk up from the car park is fairly easy, except for the last 400m or so where you are actually walking along a rocky water course, which must be pretty nasty to walk up after heavy rain.
The cairn itself is mainly intact rising some 3m above ground level and is about 25m in diameter. Before I knew the truth about the passage and round chamber I would have been quite excited by them. The passage appears to have a very close summer solstice alignment.
The walls of the chamber rise to about 1.5m and offer great and welcome shelter from the howling wind that was whipping the snow fall (yes - snow!) into flurries all around me.
Lying on the floor of the chamber is a spiral carved stone (see subsite).‚Ä®‚Ä®The views alone make this a great place to come. The cairn on Two Rocks, Howth, Montpelier and the Wicklows to the south are a sight to feast upon.
Is it really four years since I came up here? Wow! It doesn't seem that long. At least it wasn't snowing this time - just intermittent hail and lightning!
It really was great to come back and take a good look around. The visibility was not very good last time, but today the light was very good and the air clear. Looking across past the west side of Montpelier (County Dublin), I noticed that Athgoe Hill sits nicely in the gap betwen it and Saggart Hill. Another nice alignment from this spot.
Looking southeast along the ridge the views to The Great Sugarloaf Mountain are stunning. Once again I searched the vertical faces of the rockfall below the cairn for the cross and carved figure, but couldn't find them.
From Glencullen take the R116 north west for around 6km until you reach the car park clearly marked Tibradden on the right hand side of the road. Be warned this car park gets locked at 4pm. From there basically keep walking upwards and south around the winding track. Go to the first bend and double back, miss out the next left track and then shortly after the next left angle turn right. You should be walking in between the plantation on your right and a fence on your left after about 200m. Keep on walking along this rocky path and it will take you straight to the cairn.
There is a burial urn in Dublin National Museum that was taken from this cairn.
Regarded as a passage-tomb it contains a circular roofless chamber of dry-walled construction 10 and a half feet in diameter, with a lintelled passage leading in from the NE. When opened in 1849 the
cairn apparently covered only a central kist which was found to contain cremated bones and a food vessel. A secondary urn-burial was also found, but the account makes no reference to the existing chamber. Conservation work undertaken in 1956 confirmed the suspicion that the chamber and passage were constructed circa 1850 to give access to the kist, which occupies the centre of the chamber.
from Estyn Evans: PREHISTORIC AND EARLY CHRISTIAN IRELAND - A FIELD GUIDE
Fame awaits, but out of context. This site gets a mention in Robert Graves' "The White Goddess" as being a passage tomb. A factoid we now know to be incorrect.
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.