Menlough : Portal Tomb

Grid RefM 287 294
GPSM 28671 29391 (6m)
Longitude9° 4' 12.86" W
Latitude53° 18' 36.02" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownGalway (4.6 Km)
OS Sheet45
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 18th July 2004

This collapsed tomb stands just 30m from the banks of Lough Corrib about 4m above the water level. The remains consist of the two portal stones , which are about 1.2m tall and the wall slabs of the gallery , which is 3m long. There is no sign of a capstone. The structure is aligned east-west with the portal stones at the east. The northern wall slab has collapsed into the chamber .

The southern side of the tomb butts up to a field wall. There are a couple of stones to the northeast of the north portal stone, which could be from a court (?). The structure is set in a spread of cairn material which seems to run north to south, with the tomb set into the east side at the southern end, which is quite unusual.

There is a mass of vegitation all over the tomb, making it extremely difficult to photograph (and find!), it is quite easy to spot the different stones when you are there.

Portal stones are a pair of upright stones that form the 'entrance' to a portal tomb. They are usually well matched, being of even dimensions. As well as forming this doorway they also act as the front support for the capstone and are usually taller than the stones that form the chamber.

Often there is a door stone in between them blocking off access to the chamber within.

A compartment in a tomb in which burials were placed. In court tombs and wedge tombs a chamber is a sub-division of the burial gallery. Portal tombs have single chambers and passage tombs can have anything from one to five chambers, although usually passage tombs are considered to have a main chamber with extra subsidary chambers.

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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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