'Ballyknock (west)' : Portal Tomb

TownlandBallyknock
CountyMayo
Grid RefG 083 386
GPSG 08325 38596 (2m)
Longitude9° 24' 28.49" W
Latitude54° 17' 16.23" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallycastle (2.4 Km)
OS Sheet23
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 6th July 2003

I was in too much of a rush to move on from here and there is nowhere convinient to park, so I had to settle for a long distance photograph and a plan to return better prepared.

One massive portal stone appears to be almost standing and a stone leaning against it could be either the other portal stone or the capstone .

The views from here are simply stunningtothe north across to Downpatrick Head and the Atlantic.

The large rock used to form the roof of a portal tomb or kist.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Sunday, 5th April 2009

I took the opportunity to visit this site properly as I was in the area. The site is quite different to how it looks from the lane below. At the northeast end there is a small open chamber. Three orthostats forming three side of a 1m x 1m box remain in place and a large slab leans against them. The large slab is most likely the roofstone. The portal stones have long gone, presumably taken for use as gateposts. A search of nearby fields may locate these.

At the southwest end of the site there is collection of stones that may be another structure. From their condition it is hard to say if they were originally a large cist or a second portal tomb; either is possible.

The builders definitely wanted to build this monument here and not just on this slope somewhere. They went to a lot of trouble to create a long platform on the hillside on which to erect their monument. The views to the northeast are wonderful, taking in the sea and dramatic cliffs.

I was told locally that the separated section of cliff that can be seen in one of my photos from my first visit here only broke away in the mid 19th Century. Before that there was an arch across to it, but how long that arch had been there is, obviously, unknown.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Like this monument

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About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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