Portal Tomb

The picturesque portal tomb at Tirnony stands in a small grove at the side of the road nestled around a tree. The locals have cleaned up around the tomb and have even provided a bench. The tomb takes on a new appearance as you move around it. From the front it looks as though it has had one too many. Resting on three of the six orthostats the capstone has slipped a little. What is really interesting about this compact tomb is the free standing orthostat next to one of the portal stones, see image below, this suggests a forecourt. Kernanstown portal tomb in County Carlow is another tomb with a free standing orthostat next to one of the portals. The megalithic monument at Goward in County Down is another example in Northen Ireland.

There are a number of other interesting sites in this locality, an example being the sweathouse at Tirkane. 11th June 2010, I received an email recently from Lisa Dunne concerning this portal tomb. On a recent visit to the tomb Lisa had found to her dismay that the portal tomb had been knocked down. I will try to find more information about what caused the damage. Thanks to Lisa for allowing us to use her image. Apparently it was the proximity of the tree that caused the tomb to collapse, the roots disturbed the sidestones and the capstone slipped. In 2010 a team of archaeologists took the opportunity to excavate the tomb, before it was restored. The results can be found here. The tree has now been removed. I plan to visit the monument as soon as the pandemic allows.

Situated: From Maghera, County Derry take the road to Killelagh Church, then take the second right (sign-posted). The tomb is 150 metres down this road on your right.

Discoverer Map 8: C 8398 0173. Last visit July 2006.

Longitude: 6° 41' 32" W

Latitude: 54° 51' 23" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Photo: Lisa Dunne.

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