'Carnaweelaun' : Passage Tomb

TownlandCarnaweeleen
CountySligo
Grid RefG 717 132
GPSG 71684 13228 (3m)
Longitude8° 25' 57.17" W
Latitude54° 4' 2.48" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallymote (6 Km)
OS Sheet25
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 4th April 2009

The OS map has this townland marked down as Carnaweeleen, but locally the site is known as Carnaweelaun. The remains are very disturbed making it difficult to make out the exact plan of the passage and chamber, but I've read that it was cruciform in plan. Several large roofstones lie about and some of the orthostats have collapsed beneath their weight. One roofstone lies to one side, propped up against the taller orthostats, which are over 1m tall. These could mark the corners of the central chamber.

There is a backstone in place, but the sidestones of the rear chamber are two of the collapsed ones. If the tall stones are the central chamber, then the passage is quite short: about 3 to 4m in length. As with all but one of the Sligo passage tombs ( Clover Hill (County Sligo)) there is no visible decoration.

There is a wide spread of loose material around the site that could mark the extent of the original cairn. The site was selected with care. It is located on a northeast projecting spur from Keshcorran Mountain that has two peaks separated by a relatively deep gorge. The other peak (nearest to Kesh) is the taller, but this peak gives the better vista as it is further from the main mountain.

Obviously, as Kesh towers over the site to the west/southwest, the mountain obscures a large amount of the panorama. However, as you would expect from a Sligo passage tomb, the views are stunning in every other direction.

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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A Selection of Other Passage 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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