'Pat Kearney's Big Stone' : Portal Tomb

Grid RefJ 244 310
GPSJ 24372 31019 (7m)
Longitude6° 5' 36.05" W
Latitude54° 12' 46.43" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownRathfriland (5.2 Km)
OS Sheet29
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 2nd March 2002

This dolmen is quite an incredible structure. A typically huge Irish capstone slopes upwards at almost 60 degrees giving the impression of a monsterous scab about to be lauched into space.

The capstone has moved to one side, pushing the portal stones and the doorstone over to reveal the rectangular chamber within. The chamber is just .8m wide x 2.5m deep.

The capstone towers to a mighty 4m plus in the air.

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Sunday, 20th July 2003

On the way home the light was fading fast, but I decided to make a stop here to stretch my legs and take a couple of more photos. I am glad I did, because the light was quite wonderful and the stones looked amazing.

Sunday, 7th May 2006

This site has a new information sign, which has a great B&W photo on it of the tomb before it collapsed. What a beauty it was! The picture also has the old house behind the tomb too, which explains the rectangular arrangement of stones.

I wish it could be re-erected, though. The southern portal stone looks really odd placed where it is, in front of the doorstone.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites

Site Plans

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Old Images

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From Newry take the B8 east through Hilltown. After Hilltown th B8 goes north at the junction with the B27. Follow the B8 for 2.5km and take the second right (Goward Dolmen is signposted) and follow this road until you reach the car park next to the dolmen.


Sometimes called Pat Kearneyís Big Stone this was once called Finn McCoolís Fingerstone.

It was said that Finn McCool threw the capstone from Spelga some 3 miles away. There are marks on the capstone that were said to be left by Finn's hand when he picked it up.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Portal 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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