About 8 km SSW of Monaghan
town, in a fine situation on top of a drumlin (hillock)
about 250 metres NE of a transmitter, beside an old laneway
leading N from a by-road from which the tomb is visible, this
tussocky tomb is ruined but interesting. It is built of large
stones, and has a gallery 7.5 metres long, with remains of double
walling, especially on the S side. At the front there is an
ante-chamber that is separated from the gallery by a septal
slab. Inside there is a displaced stone leaning against one
of the walls. It is too small to have been a roofstone, so it
could have been an orthostat originally placed to make a split
portico. A few roofstones remain. To the front and side of the
mound, which is nearly 20 metres long and over 10 wide, there
are two large upright stones (2 metres high) which could be
original features or re-erected roofstones. Upright stones at
the fence at the rear edge of the tomb could be part of the
original kerb. Do not mistake the triangulation-marker for an
~ 2.5 km WSW is a court-tomb
in Carn (see under Garran, below).
~ 4 km WSW is Garran
- see under Ballinloughan, county Louth.
H 615 196
Just over 3 km NNE
of Rockcorry, 400 metres W of Edergole school, by the N side
of a by-road which has cut through the tomb, part of it is incorporated
in the road-fence. Part of the gallery, however, composed of
very large boulders, survives - plus one roofstone 2.1 metres
square, raised on jambs to a height of 1.5 metres. The SW end
of the gallery, and the court, have been swallowed up by the
road. It is very surprising that anything of the tomb at all
remains, because many such tombs (perhaps dozens or scores)
were demolished to provide road material and stones for other
H 597 257 Sheet
About 50 metres W of
the Monaghan-Newbliss road, incorporated into a field-wall behind
a two-storey house some 8 km NE of Newbliss, this is one of
the best monuments in Monaghan. Steps lead up the wall and then
down between the portal stones to the chamber of this tomb (1.8
metres by 90 cms) which remains intact despite the slipping
of the large capstone, 2.4 metres long and one metre thick.
It is composed of eight stones, including two portal-stones
1.5 metres high (the right-hand one split in two) and a low
back-stone - but no door-stone.
km E by N and about 50 metres N of a lane in Carn (H
611 258) is a court-tomb with a wedge-shaped cairn 35 metres
long. The façade of the U-shaped court is well-preserved,
with large orthostats flanking the portal-stones. The lintel
over the entrance lies in the first chamber of the three-chamber
gallery A couple of façade stones can be seen at the
front edge of the cairn, which is now only about 40 cm high.
km N of Garran at Killina (H 598 294) is a complete and
cairn-covered court-tomb, 50 metres long, which has trees growing
out of it and overlooks a small lake. Some stones protrude from
cairn material, including an arc at the W end which is probably
3.2 km N by E of Garran portal-tomb, in a field at the end of
a farm lane running W from the main road in Tiredegan
(H 602 286) is a double-court tomb, much of whose cairn (30
metres long) survives to a height of over one metre. Some of
the stones of the E court still stand, and a large lintel still
rests on the portal-stones. Only one large chamber (1.8 metres
wide and 5 metres long) is traceable: details of the W end of
the tomb are obscured by cairn material. Some of the kerb on
the S side projects above cairn-spill.
~ 4 km
NNE of Garran, and 7.5 km SW of Monaghan town in Carnbane
(H 613 291) is a large, almost-intact, but tree-obscured court
tomb. The court is is detectable, but is full of cairn material.
The cairn itself survives to a height of 1.6 metres. The tops
of several court-stones stick above it, and there are two exposed
façade stones at the front edge, one of which is over
2 metres tall.
~ 6.5 km NNW of Garran
portal-tomb in Clogherna (pronounced 'Clarna', H 580
287) is another double-court tomb, rather ruined, but retaining
one of its galleries, over 5 metres long and composed of large
orthostats including a backstone 1.2 metres high.
H 746 235
Sheets 28 and 28B
up a slope from a by-road, the fine, pitted capstone of this
tomb has slid back, taking the portals with it, so that it is
now just a little cave acting as a field-dump. The portals have
very beautiful quartzite banding in their stone.
~ 2.2 km SSW in Dunmaurice,
just behind a house (H 741 214) and surrounded by the usual
plastic sacks, rusting metal, old drums, wire, tractors etc.,
are the sad remains of a court-tomb: just a pair of jambs and
a fine lintel in a rural slum.
km NE ina tiny copsein Croaghan (H
797 256) are the interesting remains of a complex structure
containing seven separate two-chambered galleries which are
only roughly parallel, through which a short track has at
some (possibly prehistoric) time been driven, because it is
lined with fine megalithic orthostats or roof-stones. Only
excavation could determine the chronology of these tombs,
but it seems like one court-tomb became, possibly over a period
of hundreds of years, a complex monument. Stone for at least
some of the galleries came from an outcrop nearby which the
visitor will pass. The name of the townland in Irish must
refer to this interesting and anomalous monument.
~ 5 km N of
Croaghan is the fine standing-stone at Mullyard in
H 734 077
to a minor road, 2 km N of Shercock, this roofless but impressive
ruin looks like giant false teeth. There is a marked decrease
in the size of the orthostats from front to back (SW to NE),
and a single roofstone lies to the SE of the relatively narrow
km WNW in Corcreagh, also near the road (H 699 082),
is Labbyfirmore or 'The Big Man's Bed', a ruined and
overgrown court-tomb. All that can be seen are the N (front)
end of the gallery: a large displaced roofstone resting on a
sidestone, and three stones at right angles nearby which are
the remains of a subsidiary chamber opening to the W.
km SW (6.5 km WSW of Shercock and 6 km NNW of Bailieborough,
in county Cavan) is another, larger wedge-tomb at Drumeague
(H 667 028), also roofless, but with a fine door-slab still
in situ, the buttress-stones, and most of its double-walling.
photo by Ian Thompson
kilometres to the E, on sheet 36 and only just in county Monaghan
are the petroglyphic stones of Drumirril and Comraghs: see under
Ballinloughan, county Louth.
H 869 259
Easily accessible by
a forest track, but regrettably surrounded by dreary exotic
conifers, this tomb commanded magnificent vistas before forestation:
to Slieve Gullion, Loughcrew, the Mourne and Carlingford
Mountains. The site was until circa 1950 a site for Lughnasa
celebrations. A standing-stone, probably once connected with
the celebrations lies broken (by Christians in a long, but erratic,
tradition of smashing 'idols'?) some 200 metres W. A stepped,
two-tiered cairn with some of its original facing intact, and
closely resembling that of Newgrange before it was tarted up,
almost certainly contains a passage-tomb.