Ballynoe : Portal Tomb

Grid RefS 856 692
Longitude6° 43' 53.98" W
Latitude52° 46' 1.62" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownTullow (3.9 Km)
OS Sheet61
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Friday, 29th March 2002

After asking at the farm I set off for the 1km walk along the banks of the river Barrow to this tomb not knowing what to expect exactly. I had read reports of it having an unusual capstone and these reports are not wrong.

The 4m x 2.5m capstone is covered in little valleys and ridges caused by weathering. The chamber has collapsed almost completely with just one stone holding up the capstone. One of the portal stones lies inside the tomb and has a very distinct shoulder cut into it.

The dolmen sits at the north end of a 30m long cairn that is now not much higher than the ground. The west side of the mound has some very square junctions along it that could indicate other chambers.

Apart from the amazing capstone, which makes the tomb look like a spider crab scurrying across the field, the other remarkable thing to note about it is the location. As you sit by the monument your senses are dowsed with the sound of the great river Barrow charging past just 30m away.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites


From Tullow take the N81 for about 5.5km until you reach a cross roads and turn left. Continue for a little over 1km until you reach a fork in the road with a large triangle of land in the center of the junction. To the left you will see a farm track, drive up this and stop at the farm yard. Ask at the lower house to visit the tomb. Continue on foot up the track for 1km ( alovely riverside walk) and the tomb is on the right just over a hedge.


I was notified on the 22nd Nov 2004 that the farmer seems to be refusing access to the tomb. A real shame, but he is within his rights to do so.

There are two options here. Either avoid it to save being turned away and disappointed or everyone go there and ask to see it. It's up to you ...

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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