'Lugnagun' : Passage Tomb

TownlandLackan
CountyWicklow
Grid RefO 022 119
GPSO 02192 11884 (5m)
Longitude6° 28' 20.81" W
Latitude53° 8' 51.68" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBlessington (4.8 Km)
OS Sheet56
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
Hide map  (N.B. Google Maps & GPS readings are slightly out of sync - position is approximate)
Show inline map (by Google Maps)

Visit Notes

Sunday, 23rd September 2001

Situated now in a pine plantation this place is actually quite tricky to find, but once found it is a dream. I was actually standing just 5 yards from it looking around when I noticed the circle of kerb stones and what I presume was the door stone standing proud in the center.

It was not until I had taken several shots of it that I realised that part of the chamber is still there, too. It took time to notice this because there is an enormous tree growing on top of the one remaining roof stone; I am not at all sure how on earth it has managed to hang on.

With the sun shining through the branches creating small golden patches on the soft green moss covering the remains I really was transported. A gem even in its diminished state.

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).

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

______

Sunday, 25th April 2004

Well, this is what brought me here. The Lugnagun passage tomb . When I last visited it was in the middle of a dense pine plantation, but this has now been felled and semi-cleared. This really does open up the views. I had speculated previously about the view to the north towards Seefin Hill (County Wicklow) and Seahan Hill (County Dublin) and I was more than impressed with the situation. Both of these just poke over the top of the ridge.

Today it was also easier to see exactly what is left of the monument. There is a lot more of the 7m diameter kerb than I had previously thought, which has some interesting features. Most of it is small, dull, dark grey granite stones, but on front of the entrance, facing due west, are two large blocks of granite with a very heavy quartzite content. On the kerb facing due south is another very unusually shaped stone of the same material. Several others are mingled in with the debris and these could have indicated significant directions too.

The chamber is not decorated in any way and the backstone is extremely flat and may have been prepared.

Unfortunately, part of the plantation hasn't been cut down and this blocks out the horizon to the west where the passage would have aligned to.

It was very good to see that a number of fence stakes have been erected around the tomb forming a 25m diameter circle and no re-planting has taken place within this zone. Hopefully the site will be kept clear from now on. It would be excellent if the owner would go a stage further and provide good access to the site.

Passage tombs are perhaps the most celebrated style of tombs, mainly due to the fantastic examples at Newgrange (County Meath), Knowth (County Meath) and Dowth (County Meath) in the Boyne Valley as well as those at Loughcrew (County Meath), which is by far the best place to experience these wonders.

The classical form of passage tomb is the cruciform style, where a long passage leads to a main chamber with 3 small chambers off, forming a cross when viewed from above. However, there are many other styles, some don't even have a passage! These other forms are with a round chamber (see Fourknocks (County Meath)), a polygonal chamber or in the form of a cross of Lorraine, which can be found at Seefin Hill (County Wicklow).

There is one form known as an undifferentiated passage tomb wherein the chamber is simply a broadening of the passage, such as at Matthewstown (County Waterford).

The passage and chamber was, once constructed, covered in a mound of earth or a stone cairn, which was in turn held in place with a kerb around its perimeter.

Perhaps what Irish passage tombs are most known for is the form of rock art more commonly called passage grave art, which can be seen in abundance along the Boyne Valley in the many cemeteries.

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).

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

_____

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Directions

From Blessington cross the lake via Blessington bridge and follow the lake south. Take the third left road (where the road takes a sharp right) and carry on for about 3km until you reach a parking area on the right. Walk back down the road and take one of the tracks that lead up towards the trees. Follow the north edge of the trees along the ridgeway path. About 20m or so before you reach a litle stream that crosses the track head into the trees. The tomb is about 15-20m inside but takes some spotting.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Passage 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.

Valid CSS Valid HTML
Page loaded from cache: (Generation time: November 20 2018 08:01:54.)
Top of page | Feedback | About this site
© Copyright Tom FourWinds 2001-2018