Situated on the gradual
E slope of Truskmore Mountain, and set in significant scenery,
this is one of several megalithic tombs to be discovered recently.
Located on rough ground on the edge of a limestone pavement,
it is an almost-intact wedge-tomb with all the classic characteristics
of kerb, double-walling and portico or antechamber, though it
is only just emerging (thanks to Global Warming) from the peat.
A chain around one of the roofstones suggests that some vandal
recently has tried to dismantle it.
The box-like gallery is around 3 by 2 metres and 1.5 metres
high. There has been some disturbance at the E end. Not much
of the wedge-shaped cairn - some 9 metres long - remains.
To the west of the tomb are some massive swallow-holes which
could have played a part in the choice of location.
To the south of the tomb on limestone pavement is a small collection
of hut or tent circles (see Doonaveragh under Carrowkeel,
~ Some 200 metres E,
on the opposite side of the exposed limestone pavement (G 802
444) is a long cairn (41 metres) aligned North and South with
four bumps suggesting 4 tombs or chambers in a row. At the N
end a couple of upright slabs still stand.
~ A little
over 400 metres NNW at G 799 447 in Tawnamachugh is a
wrecked portal-tomb in a cairn some 65 metres long. Near it
is also a wrecked court-tomb.
~ Just under 12 km NE is the well-preserved court-tomb at Shasgar.
N 141 926
very attractive little tomb my colleague of megalithomania.com
writes: "It is situated in a little roadside niche under
a nice big tree. The capstone (2 metres x 1.6 metres ) is wonderfully
bumpy and featuresome (now there's a new word!) and oh so very,
very tactile. The whole thing is wonderfully intact, with some
minor collapsing of one of the chamber walls. The two portal
stones highlight a great architectural feature of the tomb.
The capstone is stepped along the front edge and to compensate
for this the portal stones are of unequal height (1.6 metres
and 1.3 metres), thus making the capstone level. Brilliant!"
km NNW in Drumconny (N 135 955) a stone circle is reported,
about which I have no information at present.
km NE in Sunnagh More (N 152 979) is a ruined wedge-tomb,
of which only a large sill-stone and side-stones remain, with
traces of double-walling and much cairn-material.
km NE at Aghavas (N 185 010) a portal-tomb is reported,
about which I have no information at present.
~ 4 km WNW in Cloonlaughil
(N 110 956, Sheet 33) is a court-tomb with an almost intact
court some 4 metres wide and 3 metres deep, and a three-chambered
gallery some 4 metres long. Little else survives.
~ 5 km WSW in Clooncoe
(N 105 925, Sheet 33) is a mysterious megalith, like a kist-tomb
with attached standing-stone/grave-marker. A roof-slab 1.8 metres
square is supported on low stones to form a small chamber. Adjoining
the E end is a leaning, round-topped slab 2.2 metres tall and
1.3 metres wide, giving the megalith the appearance of a chair.
G 997 428
About 30 metres W of
the road from Glenfarne to Kiltyclogher, this fine and unusual
tomb has a large door-slab in which is a "kennel-hole" entrance,
reminiscent of some in prehistoric tombs in southern France.
The hole does not seem to be artificial, but that does not mean
that it was not a perhaps-serendipitous choice. The door-stone
is very much like the septal slab of wedge-tombs, and the gallery
has just one chamber (like a southern French 'dolmen'), which
makes the monument either hybrid or experimental in an area
of much megalithic activity.
~ Just under 8 km WNW
is a wedge-tomb at Lisdarush (see under Shasgar
Beg: Portal-tomb and Passage-tomb
H 112 081
Sheets 27A and 33
800 metres N of the
fine mediæval church in Fenagh, and 300 metres W of a by-road,
across a marshy hollow, is a large, conspicuous but damaged
portal-tomb, whose grass-covered capstone is 3.7 metres long,
and supported on one portal-stone over 2 metres high. The other
portal-stone has broken, and a large fragment of the roofstone
- over 2 metres long - lies at the SE corner of the chamber.
About 100 metres N of the portal-tomb is a round cairn about
10 metres in diameter, in which there is the small, roofless,
polygonal chamber of a passage-tomb. About 100 metres S of the
portal-tomb is another small passage-tomb in a rectangular grassy
cairn from which some stones protrude.
by, in Knockmullin townland are standing-stones. One
(at H 113 083) has a rounded top, is 1.7 metres high and is
used as a gatepost. Another, 100 metres S (at H 113 082) is
a handsome triangular specimen. A third, 100 metres W of the
second, close to walls and trees, is 2 metres tall and of
the same stone as the portal-tomb (above). A fourth, farther
away in another townland at H 108 079, has been moved some
300 metres from a quarry-site, and is of similar stone and
size to the third. There are yet more standing-stones in the
immediate area of Fenagh, including a reported alignment in
Longstones townland (H 112 098).
km N, in Creevy (H 107 105) is a portal-tomb about
which I have no information at present.
km W by S, down a gravel path to the N side of the road from
Keshcarrigan to Carrick-on-Shannon, just S of Lough Scur (H
023 078), is Loughscur Dolmen, a partially collapsed
portal-tomb (with two associated menhirs under a nearby tree
to the left) whose large capstone has collapsed inwards behind
the still-standing portal-stones, and split into four roughly-equal
4 km NW, to the NW and SE of a by-road skirting Lough Nacarriga,
in Drumany, are a ruined, box-like wedge-tomb (just
S of the lake at H 068 097) and a ruined but massive portal-tomb
in a thicket. Its capstone is now split in two with one half
lying on the chamber floor. The remaining part of the capstone
is supported by two massive portal stones, one of which (also
split) is 1.9 metres, and the other 2 metres tall. The small
'half-door' stone is still in place and there is another massive
blocking stone at the back of the chamber. There is some evidence
of cairn material at the back and sides of the tomb, some
of which at least may be field clearance. Both these tombs
are reminiscent of those of the causses de Quercy in France.
on this by-road and turning right (East) at a Y-junction on
to the R.208 road from Ballinamore to Carrick-on-Shannon,
and proceeding for 500 metres to the top of a rise, is the
small Churchfield portal-tomb (4 km NW of Fenagh at
H 074 113), with intact (but slipped) capstone and a low door-stone.
It is incorporated into a dry-stone wall on the S side of
the road, and is surrounded by trees.
km SSW are the passage-tombs of Sheemore.
G 841 539
A small wedge-tomb
lies in a thicket, a few metres behind its 3-metre long, single
roofstone which has been dramatically and unusually embedded
at an angle in the ground.
metres ENE is a court-tomb in Aghaderrard East (H 854
542) one longitudinal half of which survives, with roofstones
tipped over the sidestones. In the midst of a boulder-strewn
thicket behind this is a mossy altar-like boulder with six
large cup-marks perhaps enhanced from solution-pits, a smaller
cup-mark and a much-enlarged solution-pit some 20 cms deep,
all divided by an enhanced, natural diagonal groove. This
boulder can be found only with the use of a GPS receiver set
to the 8-figure grid-reference of H 8542 5434.
G 896 504
Sheets 16 and 17
Best approached by
the mountain road that overlooks Lough Melvin, then along a
track up the hill and a walk of 800 metres over heather and
ling to the third rise, this well-preserved (if untidy) tomb
commands a fine view over Lough Melvin. Its gallery seems to
be unsegmented, with good entry-jambs and excellent corbelling
of large and small slabs in several tiers on both sides. The
cairn is partly peat-covered and survives to the height of the
(missing) gallery roof. The S side of the very deep (possibly
Full-) court is fairly well-preserved.
~ 1.2. km WSW in Mautiagh
(G 884 501) at the end of a long and dramatic zig-zag track,
at the top of a steep valley overlooking some massive sink-holes
in the limestone, are the wrecked remains of another court-tomb.
~ Just under 12 km SW is the wedge-tomb at Aghamore.
G 991 048
Although not very high,
Sheemore commands extensive views and is itself prominent from
as far away as brooding Slieve Anierin to the W. On the summit
are three tombs, the central one grotesquely sur-mounted by
a huge concrete cross - with electricity to illumine it at night.
Its 8 metre high cairn, some 20 metres in diameter and apparently
kerbless, appears to be unopened - but some slippage on the
SW side and a large protruding slab could indicate an entrance.
100 metres NW is the most interesting of the tombs, 8 metres
across with a kerb on the E, S and W sides made with shaped
slabs with rounded corners which measure 120 cms by 100 cms.
A passage 3 metres long faces SW. It is possible that the passage
was cruciform, but it is more likely to have been undifferentiated.
Lying in front of the passage entrance is a large limestone
slab that probably formed the door. This has a large slot in
it which could have performed a similar function to the famous
light-box at Newgrange.
The South cairn is somewhat scattered by being raided for wall-building.
Two or three large stones poke out through the disturbed material
and, assuming that they are near their original positions, suggest
that its passage also pointed SW.
The passage of the NW tomb, photographed by
~ The lower hill of Sheebeg about 4 km ENE (H 027 069
is a north-south aligned ridge to the south of Lough Scur (see
under Fenagh). At the highest point is a single gorse-encrusted
passage-tomb mound 6 metres high and some 20 metres in diameter.
From here the arrangement of the tombs on dominating Sheemore
becomes very obvious - it is as if this site is the assembly
point from where the Sheemore (NW tomb) was to be viewed and
Sheemore from Sheebeg (telephoto).
under 6 km SSE at Lisdarush (G 924 454) four limestone
orthostats of a small very ruined wedge-tomb project from
the grass on top of a spur of Saddle Hill: two sidestones,
a backstone and one stone of the inner wall. Behind it is
a single limestone rock could be part of an inner kerb, outside
of which is an arc of red stones forming part of an outer
kerb. These red stones were taken from a beautiful natural
feature: an outcrop of dramatically decayed sandstone just
30 metres south of the tomb.
To the N are splendid views towards Lough Melvin and the hill
on which the court-tomb of Shasgar was built.
To the W is one of several stone-rows which aligns with the
deep notch of the Glencar Valley - into which the equinoctial
sun should neatly and impressively set.
400 metres WNW is a stone fort about 100 metres in diameter,
bounded by a farm track and the original (but grass-grown)
Court-tomb and Wedge-tomb
G 784 509
On a level piece of
ground on a hillside affording spectacular views is a kite-shaped
cairn some 35 metres long covering two large chambers and two
subsidiary chambers. A small court just 4 by 3 metres has no
surviving orthostats. The back chamber is out of line, and may
have been built first. The front of the kerb at the front (E)
end is marked with a stone which has a wide, pecked groove in
it, perhaps marking a later inhumation. Close by, to the W,
is a ruined wedge-tomb.
~ 2.6 km NE, on the
other side of the Glenade valley (G 807 523) in Aghanlish,
sited on a hillside and affording splendid views over Donegal
Bay are a collapsed wedge-tomb whose 3 x 2 metre capstone is
beautifully and naturally pocked, and the remains of a portal-tomb
(used in the recent past as a sheepfold) whose portals are 3
~ 3.5 km E in Largydonnell
(G 819 510) is an unclassified megalithic tomb overlooking a
G 899 370
13 km due S of Shasgar,2.5 km SE of Manorhamilton
on "O'Donnell's Rock Walk", situated in wild and dramatic
landscape beside a remarkable little limestone outcrop resembling
the Burren of county Clare, and containing boulders and formations
of bizarre shapes, many of them perforated, is a pair of court-tombs
built of the same limestone crag and in places indistinguishable
from it. The graves are on the same axis, and set back to back
only 5 metres apart.
The more northerly
consists of a long cairn with remains of a long narrow forecourt
leading into an antechamber and two main chambers. Half the
gallery stones have been removed and the slabs at the northernmost
end are the remains of jambs. The south end of this cairn, where
the subsidiary chambers are, is actually pointing in a different
direction to the gallery - but aligning with the S tomb. Beside
this gallery are no fewer than 6 subsidiary chambers opening
on to the long sides of the cairn, some asymmetrically arranged
and on different axes to that of the cairn, which seems to have
been built directly onto bedrock. Some cairn material has been
used in making the nearby track.
The southerly tomb consists of a 2-chambered gallery set in
a large oval cairn 24 metres long and approached through the
remains of a forecourt. As with the other tomb, both forecourt
and gallery are deeply embedded in the cairn, and the gallery
is almost completely filled with rubble. It aligns with a notch
in the nearby hills to the southwest. The site commands splendid
WSW is a thin-walled cashel containing a hearth which may have
been an old lime-kiln, which used to be very numerous in this
A "cairn containing a large polygonal chamber" is
reported at the W edge of the townland.
~ At Tawnymanus,
2.2 km W by N, in a field of flag-irises about 100 metres W
of a by-road (G 893 373), is another, ruined but picturesque,
Megalithic tombs, Standing-stones etc.
G 775 579 etc.
This townland (lying
to the W of Tullaghan) contains a whole mini-megalithic landscape
(or prehistoric theatre-set), including a collapsed portal-tomb
(surrounded by brambles), the remains of a court-tomb and 'unclassified'
tomb at the above grid-reference, and a little box-like wedge-tomb
nearby, against which a wall has been built. Standing stones
are also listed for the townland in the county survey, at G
769-773 and 576-579, G 777 581, G 775 571, etc., along with
enclosures, hut-sites, a barrow and a mound.
Click on the picture for a different view.
~ 2 km ENE in Magheracar,
just inside county Donegal, are two seashore sepulchres almost
surrounded by new housing-development. One is an insignificant
wedge-tomb (G 798 587) in a mound, and the other is a tiny,
ruined, clifftop passageless passage-tomb (G 795 588), affording
a splendid view over rocks and out to Donegal Bay - the N
and W sides of whose boulder-kerb have fallen into the sea.