Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments

Ballinamona Lower

Ballinamona Lower

Waterford’s only Court Tomb and Ireland’s most southerly, is located in the Ring Gaelthact which is the Gaelic speaking area of the county.

The tomb stands on top of a small headland just 100 metres from the cliff edge of the sea from where you can see Mine Head lighthouse to the south.

Known locally as “ Cailleach Bhearra’s House” the tomb’s gallery is 5 metres long and is divided into two chambers with the rear chamber accessible through a gap of just 0.5 metre. The monument is constructed with five orthostats, two on the north, two on the south and one on the east side.

Its original Cairn was estimated to be around 10 metres in length with 2 meters on either side of the chamber.

The site was excavated in 1938 and among the finds were pottery shards, fragments of cremated bone and flint flakes.

The term 'Court-Tomb' is used to describe this type of monument because a courtyard area is usually found at the entrance to the chambers. This courtyard was possibly used as a place for burial rites or religious ceremonies. Court tombs are thought to be the earliest burial tombs in Ireland.

 

 

Directions: From Dungarvan take the N25 southwards for Cork. After about 4km take the road signposted left for Ring. Drive a further 2.5km till you reach the 4th turn to the right.  Turn right here and drive 4km to the fourth left turn (a crossroads). Turn left here and drive down about 1.5km. Take the next left turn and then right after 300 metres. A further 1 km down this road you will come to where the road ends and there are two gates beside each other. Over the left gate is a pathway which will take you to the tomb about 600 metres away. One of the stone s of the monument is just visible above the gorse bushes.

 

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