MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
     OF IRELAND.COM
GORTKEERAN WEDGE TOMB
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This is a fantastic Wedge Tomb, located on top of a ridge in rolling countryside, in the
town-land of Gortakeeran, (*Gort an Chaorthainn, meaning ‘field of the rowan trees’),
north of the Owenbeg River or Owenboy River (*An Abhainn Bheag or An Abhainn
Bhuí, meaning ‘(small) yellow river), 2.5km west of Coolaney, (*Cúil Áine, meaning
‘Aine’s corner’) on the eastern slopes of the Ox Mountains (*Sliabh Gamh/Slieve
Gamph). The monument, almost totally intact and orientated NE - SW, is marked on all
editions of the OS maps as ‘Giants Grave’ and consists of a well-preserved gallery, 14m
in length, flanked on both sides by the remains of outer-walling and opens onto a flat
facade at the west, where the front of the monument is incorporated in a field fence.
The gallery is divided by a septal-stone into a portico, 1.6m in length and 1.4m in width
and main chamber, 7m in length and 1.7m in width at the septal-stone, narrowing to
1m at the back-stone. The main chamber has 8 side stones on the north side and 6 on
the south side and generally decrease in height from west to east. One roof-stone covers
the portico and another covers the rear and between them, there are three displaced
roof-stones lying along the gallery. A line of three outer walling stones remain on the
north side and adjoin the northern facade stone. A single out-walling stone remains on
the south side, 1m beyond the front of the chamber. The stone field fence runs NW-SE
and is probably the remains of a cairn. Borlase stated that it ‘measures about 36 feet in
length, and lies nearly E. and W. It broadens considerably from the E. end, where it is
about 2 feet 6 ins. wide, to the W. end, where it is 5 feet wide. A flagstone on edge,
about 7 feet long, divides the long and narrowing E. portion of the monument from the
portico, or antechamber, which forms the W. extremity. Several roofing-stones are in
place, and there are stones on either side which indicate the presence of an outer
range’ (p.179-80). Wood-Martin believed ‘that the main chamber consisted of a series
of cists’ and that ‘those towards the W. end formed cists, giving to the monument a
cruciform shape’ (p. 211). Borlase however, thought this doubtful ‘since the outer
range is a peristyle, and the transverse stones buttresses to the main structure’ (p. 180).
An unclassified megalithic tomb (SL025-009) lies c. 300m to SE.

Sources:
Borlase, W., ‘The Dolmens of Ireland’ (Vol. I, 1897)
Wood-Martin, William, G., ‘The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland’ JRHAAI (1888)
Survey of the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland Vol. V
* Placenames Database of Ireland 2016
CO-ORDINATES
54 10' 21.631"N...8 39' 4.798"W