'Larch Hill' : Portal Tomb

TownlandLarch Hill Scout Camp
CountyDublin
Grid RefO 147 238
Longitude6° 16' 52.64" W
Latitude53° 15' 7.84" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownTallaght (6.7 Km)
OS Sheet50
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
Hide map  (N.B. Google Maps & GPS readings are slightly out of sync - position is approximate)
Show inline map (by Google Maps)

Visit Notes

Saturday, 5th January 2002

This ruined portal tomb is still quite impressive, sitting next to a little brook, nestled amogst a few tall trees in the center of a large open pasture.

The state of ruin is quite advanced: the capstone has slipped and lies on top of one of the wall slabs, a single portal stone still stands (about 2.4 m tall) and the other lies on the ground under some tree roots.

The chamber walls are made of large slabs about 1.2m square and just 20 cm thick, only one of these remains upright.

There is also a ground level sill stone in place at the entrance.

Portal tombs are what most people wrongly refer to as dolmens. They are, to me at least, the most strikingly designed of the megalithic tombs. They are called portal tombs because they have two large upright stones, usually very well matched, in front of the chamber that seem to form a doorway.

Resting upon the portal stones and the chamber a large capstone rests (sometimes there are two capstones - see Knockeen (County Waterford)), usually at an angle of around 22 degrees from the horizontal. Although these were originally incorporated into one end of a long cairn there are none left in this state today, although traces of the cairn can sometimes be seen upon the ground. The portal stones can be up to 3.5m tall, which combined with a thick capstone can produce an imposing monument over 5m tall. Capstones can reach in excess of 70 tonnes, with that of Browne's Hill (County Carlow) being estimated at over 120 tonnes.


Often betwen the portal stones there is a door slab, blocking the width of the entrance, but not always the full height. Door slabs are either half height, three quarter height or full height, describing the amount of the portal that they obstruct. All portal tombs would have had door slab, but this has often been removed to facilitate entry into the chamber.

Quite rarely the portal stones are the same height as the chamber and the characteristic slope of the capstone is created by the profile of the capstone (see Glendruid (County Dublin)).

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

____

Thursday, 11th April 2002

In the excitement of the day I forgot to ask if we could cross the scout camp and I think was nearly thrown off. Please remember to ask before visiting this tomb for the security of those staying here.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

__

Saturday, 20th July 2002

Another trek across the scout camp, this time through several cubs and tents.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Miscellanea

Just to keep the record straight, this tomb is actually in Kilmashogue townland.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Portal Tombs

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.

Valid CSS Valid HTML
Page loaded from cache: (Generation time: September 22 2018 12:40:00.)
Top of page | Feedback | About this site
© Copyright Tom FourWinds 2001-2018