Inchincurka : Wedge Tomb

Grid RefW 233 596
GPSW 23342 59576
Longitude9° 6' 39.47" W
Latitude51° 47' 0.16" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDunmanway (7 Km)
OS Sheet85
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 4th April 2004

I only recently found out about this site a short while ago and I was immediately inspired to come and see it. This east-west aligned wedge tomb is just 100m from a road junction in the middle of a good field.

Verging on being complete, this monument has two large slabs forming the roof. These rest upon a set of wall-stones that decrease in height and showing the classic 'wedge' profile that gives the genre its name. There is also good double walling set very closely to the inner walls. At the front (west) end two fine fa?�ade slabs form an entrance into the 1.4m wide, 3m long gallery .

The field level around it has dropped, probably through ploughing, making the tomb stand on a little platform. I would imagine that on a dewey summer's morning the site of this hovering above the field in a fine mist would be quite special.

The condition of this monument is so good that I am surprised that it is not a National Monument. It certainly should be. However, this would mean that it would end up with a little fence around it and no really good views of it, so perhaps it is best left as it is.

Wedge tombs are most easily catagorised by their main characteristic - they are taller and wider at the entrance than they are at the rear. Like court tombs they have a gallery which is split either by septal slabs or sill stones into smaller chambers. Galleries can be anything up to 8m in length.

The side walls are, uniquely, made of two rows of stones (three in some cases), which is refered to as double or triple walling. This double walling is perhaps the best feature to identify a wedge tomb by.

The roofs are constructed by laying large blocks or slabs across the gallery, resting on the tops of the walls.

They are often quite small, an amazing exception being Labbacallee (County Cork), one of the largest in Ireland. It is very rare to find a wedge tomb with its roof still in situ, although, occasionally, one or two of the roof slabs are present (see Proleek (County Louth)).

In some examples the roof would have extended beyond the front closing slab forming a portico at the front, which in a few specimens was split by a vertical stone place centrally in the entrance.

Like court tombs, portal tombs and passage tombs they were covered by a cairn, which, at many sites, it is still often possible to determine. A few, such as Burren SW (County Cavan), still retain a large proportion of the cairn.

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Like this monument

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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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