Survey Of The Megalithic Tombs Marblehill

Survey Of The Megalithic Tombs Marblehill

This survey gives the exact dimensions of the tombs that are found today on the townland of Marblehill.

26. Marblehill. O.S. 125: 6: 2 (35-8 cm. 38-2 cm.). “Cromlech.” O.D. 400-500.

M 688 041. Fig. 11. Plate 8.

Portal-tomb

The three tombs in Marblehill demesne, Ga. 26, Ga. 27 and Ga. 28, are situated

on rolling land about \ mile north-west of Ballin Lough. Much of the land on the estate

is under forestry plantation but the open ground is devoted to meadow and pasture.

The estate is overlooked by the wooded heights (600 ft.) west of Marble Hill House.

This, the most northerly of the three sites, is situated on sloping meadow land,

about \ mile north-east of Marble Hill House. It consists of a small ruined chamber,

about 2 m. long, with the entrance towards the south. The east and west sides of the

chamber each consist of a portal stone and one sidestone but both stones at the east

have collapsed inwards. A displaced stone lies immediately in front of the entrance

and two others occupy the northern end of the chamber. Resting above the chamber

is a large roofstone which appears to have slipped somewhat northwards with the

collapse of the chamber. The structure is surrounded by a small low mound about -40 m.

high. Its perimeter is difficult to define because of the slope of the ground and its

present outline may, in fact, be largely the result of cultivation. A prostrate stone,

•85 m. by at least -40 m. and -20 m. thick, lies on the mound immediately north of the

roofstone. About 1-20 m. west of this is a small stone, -30 m. long, -15 m. thick and

•30 m. high, which appears to be well set in the ground but it may only be a fortuitously

exposed cairn stone.

The western portal stone is a pillar-like block, -50 m. by -45 m. and 1-05 m. high.

The collapsed portal, at the east, is -8o m. long, -35 m. thick and would be about the

same height as the opposite portal if it were erect. The original position or function of

the prostrate stone in front of the portals is not clear. It is -85 m. long by at least -40 m.

wide and -20 m. thick. The erect (western) sidestone is 2-00 m. long, -25 m. thick and

•65 m. high. The opposite sidestone has fallen inwards and its southern end overlies

the portal. It is at least 1-50 m. long and -15 m. thick and would be about -50 m. lower

than the portal if both stones were erect. The two stones at the north end of the gallery

are of uncertain function though the larger may perhaps be a displaced backstone.

The more easterly of these is -75 m. by -20 m. and would be -55 m. high if erect. The

second stone is 1-25 m. by 1-10 m. and -15 m. thick. The roofstone is about 2-50 m.

long and -55 m. thick. It narrows from 1-90 m. wide at the south to 1-65 m. wide

near the north.

Borlase: The Dolmens of Ireland, 106-107 (one of Nos. 1-8 in Barony of Leitrim).

Stokes: Revue Archeologique (1882), 21.

O.S.L. 14/D.2, 522.

27. Marblehill. O.S. 125: 6: 5 (36-1 cm. 36-0 cm.). “Cromlech.” O.D. 400-500.

M 688 039. Fig. 14. Plate 9.

Wedge-tomb

The monument is situated in a meadow about \ mile east of Marble Hill House and

some 250 yards south of the Portal-tomb (Ga. 26).

The monument has suffered considerable damage but a large amount of structure

is present. It consists of the ruins of a long narrow gallery with a short portico at the

west, separated from the remainder of the gallery by a high septal stone. Two large

displaced roofstones lie across the middle of the gallery. Several collapsed stones south

of the gallery are much concealed but may be part of an outer-wall. The gallery is

incorporated in a mound of irregular outline rising to a height of about 1 m. This is

SURVEY OF THE MEGALITHIC TOMBS OF IRELAND

about 13-50 m. long and narrows from 10 m. wide towards the west to 8-50 m. near

the east. Several large displaced slabs lie on the mound. One at the north-west is

2-10 m. by 1-30 m. and -25 m. thick. Two at the south-east are each -25 m. thick and

are 1-85 m. and 1-30 m. respectively, in maximum dimension. A fence and gateway

abutt the eastern end of the mound close to the back of the gallery.

The gallery is 10 m. in overall length and varies in width from 1-50 m. at the

portico to -65 m. near the back where the two more easterly sidestones are set inside the

general line of the gallery walls suggesting the possibility of a small rear chamber.

The portico is 1-40 m. long. The sides consist of single well-matched stones each

1-20 m. long and about -55 m. high. The septal stone is 1-95 m. long, -40 m. thick and

•80 m. high. A “step” on its top edge, at the north, is -30 m. deep and -65 m. long.

The gallery, beyond the portico, is 7-20 m. long. Six stones of the north side are

in position. The first two, at the west, are 1-00 m. and -55 m. high, respectively. The

third stone overlaps the second, at the west, and is -65 m. high. Immediately north of

this is a stone, 1-50 m. long and -8o m. high, which forms a doubling of the wall. There

is a gap of i-8o m. between the third and fourth orthostat. Two stones lying here may

be displaced sidestones. These are 1-00 m. and 1-55 m., respectively, in maximum

dimension. The heights of the three orthostats at the east are, from west to east,

respectively, -70 m., -95 m. and -65 m.

Five orthostats are in position at the opposite side of the chamber. The first, at

the west, is 1-00 m. high and the second, which is set inside the line of the first, is -45 m.

high. Immediately east of this is a collapsed and greatly concealed sidestone which is

at least -90 m. long. There is a gap of 2-50 m. between the second and third orthostat.

The third orthostat is -40 m. high but leans heavily inwards. The next is -85 m. high

and the fifth stone, at the east, is -35 m. high. The back of the gallery is closed by a

single stone set outside the lines of the chamber walls. It is 1-35 m. long, -25 m. thick

and -8o m. high.

The roofstone at the west is 1-90 m. long (E-W), 2-70 m. wide (N-S) and -30 m.

thick. It rests in a sloping position above the gallery walls. Beneath its eastern end

is a stone, 1-20 m. by -90 m. and -20 m. thick, which may be another fragment of the

roof. The roofstone at the east is also lying in a sloping position above the gallery

sides. It is 2-85 m. long (E-W), 2-45 m. wide (N-S) and -30 m. thick.

Outside the southern side of the gallery a line of five stones, converging sharply

on the eastern end of the gallery, may be the remains of an outer-wall. The more

easterly of these is erect and is incorporated in the corner of the fence running into the

eastern end of the mound. It is at least -75 m. long and is -25 m. thick and -65 m. high.

The other four are pitched heavily to the south and are all greatly concealed in the

mound. They vary from -6o m. to 1-20 m. in maximum dimension.

Borlase: The Dolmens of Ireland, 106-107 (one of Nos. 1-8 in Barony of Leitrim).

Stokes: Revue Archeologique (1882), 21.

Dutton: Statistical Survey of the County of Galway (Dublin, 1824), 470.

Lewis: Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, I (London, 1838), 644.

O.S.L.: 14/D.2, 522.

28. Marblehill. O.S. 125: 6: 5 (33-5 cm. 32-1 cm.). “Cromlech.” O.D. 400-500.

M 685 036. Fig. 15. Plate 8.

Wedge-tomb 2

This, the most southerly of the three tombs in Marblehill, is situated on rolling

pasture land about \ mile south-west of the large Wedge-tomb, Ga. 27. The monument

is incorporated in a fence bordering the southern side of a roadway leading

through the estate to Marble Hill House.

The monument is ruined. It consists of the remains of a small short gallery

orientated roughly W-E. At the east are two sidestones and a backstone forming the

end of the gallery. Immediately beyond the southern sidestone is a low stone which is

probably the base of a third sidestone. At the west end of the gallery is a stone, leaning

heavily to the west, which apparently closed the entrance. A loose displaced stone,

COUNTY GAL WAY 23

within the gallery and leaning against the northern sidestone, is 1-25 m. long, -25 m.

thick and 1-00 m. high. The remains of a mound incorporating the tomb runs under

the road fence at the north. The mound is 10 m. long (E-W) and is -50 m. in average

height. A loose block, 1-25 m. in maximum dimension, lies on the western end of the

mound.

The large southern sidestone leans inwards. It is 1-95 m. long, -30 m. thick and

1-20 m. high. The opposite sidestone is 1-85 m. long, and -35 m. thick. Though only

•65 m. of its height is exposed it would, in fact, be about -20 m. higher than the southern

sidestone, if this were erect. The low stone continuing the line of the southern side of

the gallery is 75 m. long and -35 m. high. The stone closing the east end of the gallery

is set outside the ends of the sidestones. It is i-6o m. long and -40 m. thick. It leans

inwards and is about equal in height to the southern sidestone. The stone at the

western end of the gallery is 2-20 m. long, -30 m. thick and, if erect, would be 1.oo m.

high.

The gallery would be about 3 m. long if the stone at the western end was erect.

The original width at the west cannot be ascertained but it narrows sharply towards

the east where it is about -8o m. wide at the backstone.

Borlase: The Dolmens of Ireland, 106-107 (one °f Nos. 1-8 in Barony of Leitrim).

Stokes: Revue Archeologique (1882), 21.

O.S.L : 14/D.2, 522.

 

This is all taken from

SURVEY OF THE MEGALITHIC TOMBS OF IRELAND

VOLUME III

COUNTIES

GALWAY – ROSCOMMON – LEITRIM-LONGFORD – WESTMEATH – LAOIGHIS-

OFFALY – KILDARE – CAVAN

Authors: Ruaidhri de Valera and Sean O Nuallain

DUBLIN PUBLISHED BY THE STATIONERY OFFICE 1972