Carrowcrom : Wedge Tomb

CountyMayo
Grid RefG 315 162
Longitude9° 2' 49.13" W
Latitude54° 5' 25.01" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallina (8 Km)
OS Sheet24
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 17th August 2003

Another site of which I'd seen many photos and which I've wanted to visit for a long time. This little tomb is very easily reached, but even if it wasn't then its state of preservation would warrant a very long walk to see it.

The gallery is only 3m long and formed by two orthostats on either side. The wedge shape of the tomb can be very clearly seen in these. Two roof stones completely cover the gallery, one of which is now supported by a steel bar, which I didn't actually see until my flash highlighted it.

The facade is still present either side of the entrance and the whole structure is still covered by its cairn. There has obviously been some renonvation, but it doesn't matter - this tiny tomb is wonderful, especially when seen in the orange glow of a setting sun, which is how I enjoyed it before setting off homeward.

A barrow is essentially a mound of earth over one or more burials. They are more usually to be dated to the Bronze Age. There are many forms of barrow including ring, bowl, long and bell barrows.

Ring barrows are formed by digging a circular trench or fosse around a central burial, with no mound.

Bowl barrows are formed by heaping up soil over the burial(s) from a surrounding fosse, these often have an external bank too (see Ballyremon Commons (County Wicklow)).

Bell barows are simply round mounds with no fosse or external bank.

Long barrows are rare in Ireland and are more common in southwest England. Their shape is basically ovoid rather than round (see Ballynoe (County Down))

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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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