MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
       OF IRELAND.COM
ISLAND WEDGE TOMB
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This great example of a Wedge Tomb is located on top of a slight natural knoll in flat
pasture, 120m north of Leapford Stream, south of the town of Mallow, 'Magh nAla',    
( plain of the swans ) and is marked on the Historic map as 'Stone Circle'. The tomb
was excavated in 1957 by O'Kelly and revealed a gallery, aligned NE-SW, 5.74m in over-
all length and 1.2m in width at the SW end and 0.75m at the NE end. The entrance to
the tomb, on the south-west, was marked by a pair of tall portal stones 1.65m in
average height and was 5.74m in length.  A low sill and jamb-like slab separates the
main chamber from portico and immediately inside the entrance of the gallery stands
low pillar stone 0.68m in height. Its purpose is unknown though during the excavation
it became known as the ‘sentinal stone’. A socket for a similarly placed ritual stone
was found in the antechamber at Ballyedmonduff. A stone standing in the centre of the
tomb entrance is a feature of several sites in Ulster and elsewhere. The gallery is
surrounded by a U-shaped setting of outer-walling which formed a rounded rear end
and the front was joined to the portals of the antechamber by a straight orthostatic
facade. During excavations, evidence for three cremated burials were found in the
main chamber. A circular pit was found near the eastern end of the chamber and it
contained charcoal, some finely fragmented cremated human bone, and part of a burnt
flint implement, perhaps a knife. Two flint scrapers were found on the tomb floor and
a shallow pit just inside the sill stone contained the cremated bones of an adult female
of 60 to 70 years of age. Radio-carbon dating, from some charcoal collected from a
hearth site on the old ground surface outside the kerb stones, indicated a date of
construction of the monument to 1,430 - 1,308 BC.
CO-ORDINATES
52°04'03.6"N
8°34'46.6"W