Drumcollagh : Court Tomb

CountyMayo
Grid RefF 799 049
GPSF 79863 04850 (3m)
Longitude9° 49' 52.98" W
Latitude53° 58' 44.04" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDoagh (19.4 Km)
OS Sheets30, 22
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Monday, 1st June 2009

The is the better known and more visited tomb in this area. It is fairly easy to access from the driveway of the farmhouse that stands next to it.

The stones forming the gallery are huge: the jambs segmenting the gallery are over 2m tall. The gallery is split into three chambers. The first segmentation is by the jambs mentioned above. The second split is formed with a single, full-width slab that stands between two orthostats and creates a sealed off chamber at the rear of the monument. There is a roofstone covering the rear part of this end chamber.

There is a set stone just outside the front of the gallery that may be from the court. If it was then the court would have been a wide one. However, this stone looks to be in the wrong place. There is a large, long stone lying on the ground to the front that may be an uprooted entrance jamb. The ground rises around the structure, which is probably due to some of the original cairn material being present. Another cause of this mound around the stones could simply be soil slippage down the slope.

The views from this elevated location are all to the west towards Achill Island and Slievemor is a large part of the skyline. The axis of the gallery is aligned more towards the northwest-southeast, with the entrance at the southern end, than north-south.

A barrow is essentially a mound of earth over one or more burials. They are more usually to be dated to the Bronze Age. There are many forms of barrow including ring, bowl, long and bell barrows.

Ring barrows are formed by digging a circular trench or fosse around a central burial, with no mound.

Bowl barrows are formed by heaping up soil over the burial(s) from a surrounding fosse, these often have an external bank too (see Ballyremon Commons (County Wicklow)).

Bell barows are simply round mounds with no fosse or external bank.

Long barrows are rare in Ireland and are more common in southwest England. Their shape is basically ovoid rather than round (see Ballynoe (County Down))

Like this monument

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Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Court 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.

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