Island : Wedge Tomb

CountyCork
Grid RefW 603 907
Longitude8° 34' 44.34" W
Latitude52° 4' 1.04" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMallow (9.3 Km)
OS Sheet80
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 12th April 2003

Photos of this tomb have intigued me for a long time and to finally get to visit it is a treat. My first impressions? 1) It's very well looked after. 2) It's a lot smaller than I'd thought it was going to be. 3) That doesn't matter - it's lovely!

The 5m long, partly roofed gallery is fronted by tall slabs that make me think of Anubis with his large pointy jackal ears.

The cairn is U-shaped with a kerb of small stones. Within the outer kerb is an second inner kerb that echoes the same U-shape. In front of the gallery the ends of this inner kerb are joined by a shallow arc of stones that seem to act as a boundary to separate the inner sanctum from the outside world.

The tomb was excavated in 1957 and has been in state care ever since. It's remarkably clean state is a fine testament to those that care for it. If only all tomb were this well looked after.

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).

Sunday, 28th March 2004

Once again another excuse to try out the wide-angle lens. Fantastic. I think I'm going to enjoy using this. The prettiness of this tomb is very striking with a mid morning light across it. I think the best time to visit must be around 1pm, when the light strikes the front at an angle.

A word of caution. Don't approach this site from the south: the track is evil!

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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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