Portal Tomb and Wedge Tomb

Situated on a golf course at the Ballyscanlan Hotel, County Louth, the Proleek portal tomb is one of the most photographed dolmens in Ireland. Standing at around 3.5 metres this huge megalith has a capstone 3.8 metres in length and weighing at least 35 tons balanced on three uprights. It has the appearance of a tripod dolmen with it's two portal stones and a third stone at the rear, see Legananny or Ballykeel in County Armagh. The third stone is actually the only remaining sidestone and the backstone is missing. The sidestone has been buttressed with other stones crudely cemented into the ground. The matching Portal stones are really impressive, each standing over two metres high. The tomb is facing north west.

Folklore: Known as the Giant's Load, it is believed it was carried to here by the Scottish giant named Parrah Boug McShagean, who is said to be buried nearby. The Local tradition is to throw a small stone onto the top of the capstone, if it stays there, you will be married within the year.

Longitude: 6° 20' 54" W. Latitude: 54° 2' 14" N portal tomb

Proleek Wedge Tomb

Close by is an almost unmentioned wedge shaped gallery tomb. To visit the portal tomb you must pass by this long wedge tomb. The gallery is six metres in length and 1.5 metres wide at the west end, narrowing to just over a metre wide at the east end, which is covered by two remaining roof stones. At the west or nearest end in the image below, is a large septal slab closing the gallery. You can see how the construction of the gallery tomb has been very precise.

Pictured below is the wedge tomb from the northeast corner. The portal tomb can be seen, top right, in the background.

Situated: About 4 miles north of Dundalk at Ballymascanlon Hotel. Follow the signs from the hotel car park. A gateway leads to a pathway across the golf course, the tombs are on the grounds of the course.

Discovery Map 29: 0827 1101. Last visit Jan 2008.

Longitude: 6° 20' 50" W. Wedge tomb.

Latitude: 54° 2' 13" N.

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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