|Kilmogue - Standing Stone|
WOW! This is one of the most impressive and most beautiful of portal tombs in Ireland. Situate at the end of a farm lane in a hedgerow access is very easy - it is a registered monument and has its own car park.
The chamber is box-like complete with a roof. In front of this two massive portal stones rise up to support the steeply inclined capstone, which reaches a height of over 4.5m. In between the portal stones is a full height door stone. Between the front edges of the portal stones is a wall of low stones set as if to make the little alcove a separate space from the outsid world.
All the stones seem to have bands of quartz running through them except for the massive capstone, which is peppered with tiny quartz pebbles.
A babbling brook runs just yards in front of the north easterly facing entrance and adds wonderfully to the ambience of the scene. I wish that the Office Of Public Works would have bought a bit more land around the tomb, though, and cleared away the trees and hedges so that this amazing structure could be fully enjoyed from all angles.
This monument may be useful as an indication of what Brehon's Chair (County Dublin) once looked like. The box-like chamber is very similar to many of the south Dublin/north Wicklow sites such as Onagh (County Wicklow) and Larch Hill (County Dublin).
Two stones place either side of a gallery, opposite each other, but not touching so as to leave a gap, that are used to segment it into smaller chambers.
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A week or so ago I saw a recently taken photo of this monstrous tomb, which showed that the bushes that threatened to engulf it have been cleared away. Obviously, I couldn't miss the opportunity to get down here and take some photos while having a good look at it.
The weather was gloriously a little sunny and the southern side was spectacularly lit. Without the bushes crowding the rear I could actually see the northern side properly too. Unfortunately this side was in shadow so I decided to head off to see some other sites and come back later in the day when the sun had moved round. I did this and upn my return sat waiting, estimating that I had about an hour to wait. During this time I watched a great big black cloud roll across above the hills to the north which seemed to have no end. I wasn't going to get my sunny moment on the other side and so headed off.
I did pause to look southward though. When you are right by the tomb a hedgerow stops you seeing pretty much anything, but from the car parking area you get an idea of the original intended views (if you can ignore the bungalow). Looking down a low, wide valley your eyes are brought to focus on a lovely round hill that stands out on its own.
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Back again and in beautiful weather too. Julian asked for 'big dolmens' so where better to come after Browne's Hill (County Carlow)?
This trip was primarily about seeing some Waterford based sites, but as my wife hadn't been to this area before I decided to stop here and show her this towering wonder. I ended up leaving my 1m stick behind.
The tomb is signposted from Mullinavat, but one or two signs aren't too easy to see. From the crossroads in Mullinavat head west. After a few hundred metres you cross a river. Turn right and continue along this road for about 4km until you reach the junction and turn left. Continue until you reach a T-junction and turn right and then take the next left. 500m along this road there is a track on the right. Drive down this to reach the tomb.
The most remarkable cromlech is at Kilmogue, in the barony of Knocktopher; the upper stone is 45 feet in circumference, and is elevated six feet above the ground at its lower end, and 15 at its upper: the country people call it Lachan Schal, or "the Great Altar."
A TOPOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF IRELAND by Samuel Lewis (1837)
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.