Gortnavern : Portal Tomb

Grid RefC 222 305
Longitude7° 39' 7.23" W
Latitude55° 7' 16.45" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMillford (4.7 Km)
OS Sheet2
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 9th November 2003

After breaking my camera at Beltany Tops (County Donegal) I decided to come all the way up here, because this photo (link) is wonderful.

However, like so many sites it has changed since this was taken. Approaching from this direction it is impossible to see the tomb, because those small clumps of gorse now form a massive wall that hides the tomb. Fortunately, the tomb is accessible and clearly visible from the front still.

The views from here are great. You can see down to a slither of Mulroy Bay and to the northeast is the beautiful sleeping giant form of Knockalla Mountain. This is almost a typically Welsh setting for a portal tomb.

The tomb is still in very good condition. The massive capstone projects at a lovely angle above the 2m tall portal stones. The monument is one of those that seems to morph as you walk around it - given any two angles it would be difficult to say that it was the same tomb.

Although there is a sign to the monument from the road out of Carrowkeel the trail ends there. You'll get no further help, only hindrance in fact. Someone seems to be making it very difficult to get to this tomb. Saying that, it looks like some work might be about to be done up here. There was a row of fence posts layed out across the field, indicating that a new fence might be about to be erected around it. As you would expect, it looks as if it will be very close to the tomb, stopping you standing back and admiring its gloriousness.

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

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image


Sunday, 5th June 2005

I couldn't wait to get back here. I love this monument and its setting. I also had the added incentive of wanting to get some decent pictures, because last time I had broken my camera at the previous site and had to rely on my backup.

Today I was fully equipped and ready to shoot! I also couldn't help having a look around to see if my phone was still lying around from when I lost it last time. Obviously it wasn't.

It's a shame about the gorse still being around the monument, but we did meet the farmer on the way down the hill - he doesn't seem to mind visitors at all - who did say that he would clear the site soon. Just how soon he didn't say.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Portal Tombs

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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