MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
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CUNARD PORTAL TOMB
This substantially intact and largely unknown portal tomb in the town-land of Cunard,
(*Cionn Ard, meaning 'high headland'), is marked on Ordnance Survey map, 1st
edition (6 inch) as [cromleac] or Shed Stone and shown as two vertical stones, capped
horizontally by another and which, according to Weston St. John Joyce, was known in
1838 as ‘a group of houses bearing the curious name of Cunard, half a mile beyond
which is Castlekelly’ (Joyce, p.408). The portal tomb at Cunard is located on a steep,
SW facing slope of the rock strewn Glassamucky Brakes, (*Mothar Ghlaise na Muice,
meaning 'the brakes of the streamlet of the swine-herd'), overlooking the valley of the
River Dodder, (*An Dothra), 2.5km NW of the village of Glencree, (*Gleann Crí). The
tomb is flanked by Glendoo Mountain, (*Sliabh an Ghleanna Dhuibh, meaning 'glen of
the black moor') and Glassamucky Mountain, (*Sliabh Ghlaise na Muice) to the east &
NE, and Corrig Mountain, (*An Charraig) & Seahan Mountain, (*An Suíochán) to the
west. The monument is sited on a level, roughly sub-circular platform, c.10m in
diameter, with the tomb positioned in a small hollow at the centre, the South and SW
edges of which are 2m adjacent to a small streamlet called 'Cot Brook' (Joyce, p.408),
that runs E-W and joins the River Dodder 200m further down the slope to the west. The
monument, composed of locally available granite which is strewn about the hillside, is
orientated NW-SE and consists of a pair of portal stones, two side-stones, a diamond
shaped capstone and a small boulder of undetermined function. The western portal
stone is 1.7m in height, the top of which is lodged into a slight groove on the under-side
of the capstone, while the eastern portal stone is 1.5m in height, perhaps as a
compensation by the builders for the slope of the hill. The western side-stone, 1.5m in
max. height, has fallen outward & partially under the capstone, while the eastern side-
stone, 1.1m in height, remains in situ. The diamond-shaped capstone, 2.5m in length,
1.8m in width & 0.80m in max. depth, has slipped down and backwards off the eastern
portal stone & now rests on the western portal stone at the front and the eastern side-
stone and collapsed western side-stone at the back. A deep fissure in the capstone,
located almost equidistant between the top and bottom, 0.30m in max. width, runs
horizontally around the capstone from above the western portal stone eastwards, to the
back of the tomb. A small boulder lies between the western portal stone and the
western side-stone (now fallen). It may have once been part of the monument but as yet
its function is undetermined.

Sources:
Joyce, W., ‘The Neighbourhood of Dublin’ (Dublin, 1921)
* Placenames Database of Ireland 2017
CO-ORDINATES
53 8' 45.58"N...6 19' 48.72"W
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