Portal Tomb - County Roscommon

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G 76798 02368 (GPS 28min) . Visited June 2002

Drumanone stands about 3km west of Boyle and only 200m to the north of the R294, but you must cross a railway line to reach it.   It is located in pasture land about 300m north of the Boyle River with excellent views all around, the Curlew mountains being visible to the north.
This is an excellent example of a Portal Tomb, the chamber structure is fully exposed due to the usual robbing away of the covering cairn. There are two large portal stones, each over 2m high, these are set longitudinally and parallel to the NE-SW long axis of the tomb. The 1.2m space between the portals is closed by the door slab, nearly as tall as the portals, this stone is an excellent fit between them. There are two side stones, the one to the south has been re-erected, and the western slab has been tilted over by the mass of the slipped capstone, and it is now supported by a steel girder. A small stone sits between the side slabs at the SW, and this may be a remnant of a broken back slab. The capstone is huge, measuring roughly 4.5m x 3.8m, it has slipped back quite a distance from its original position, and has distorted the rear end of the tomb considerably.
Because of the distortion caused by the slipped capstone the chamber dimensions are difficult to judge, but the original space was probably polygonal and about 2m in diameter. Excavated in 1954, the chamber contained considerable amounts of cremated bone, and a small porcellanite axe, or adze, from the Thievebulliagh axe factory in County Antrim. Other finds outside the chamber included a flint flake and a carinated chert core-scraper.
The site is well worth a visit, although the chamber was awash with cow muck during our visit!

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