Magheraghanrush/Deerpark, Court Tomb, Co. Sligo.

Location – North of Lough Gill to the East of Sligo town. It is located on forestry land with a public path. 
OS: G 751 368 (map 16 and 25)
GPS: G 75179 36803 (Accuracy – 2m)
Longitude: 8° 22' 51.97" W
Latitude: 54° 16' 45.65" N

See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – Visiting this court tomb was an absolute delight and it has to be one of the finest examples in the country. It also has somewhat of an unusual design in that the court is oval shaped and located in the centre of the tomb with two chambers at one end and a single chamber at the other. Only one of three lintels to these chambers remains in situ and it is cracked. The entrance to the court still remains and a few kerb stones are still visible. The tomb is immense in size measuring 30m in length. The tomb has excellent views all round although forestry will once again obscure some of these views. Knocknarae is clearly visible from here. The tomb almost looks like two traditional court tombs that have been places one in front of the other so as to face. This is indicated by the fact that the central court is not a perfect oval but is crooked in the middle indicating that there was originally one court tomb which was then added to. The western end appears to be the older portion as on its own it is a classic court tomb. Carleton Jones has put forward the hypothesis that the second tomb was added when two groups joined together. The tomb then becomes a physical sign of unity amongst two groups. He further hypothesises that the second group has two distinct sub-groups which would account for the two chambers at the Eastern end (see Carleton Jones, Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland (The Collins Press: Cork, 2007, pp63-64). Bones from at least ten people were found here by antiquarians. 

Difficulty – It is an uphill walk from the car-park along forestry paths. A certain level of fitness is required. 

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The entrance to the central court.

Looking to the Western chamber.

From behind the Western chamber.

The back stone of the West chamber.

Looking at the two Eastern chambers.

The South-East chamber.

The North-East chamber.

Looking out of the entrance in the central court.

Kerb stones.

Knocknarae in the distance.

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Maryborough, St. Peter's Church, Co. Laois.

Location – At the top of Tower Hill opposite the Odeon Cinema.
OS: S 471 985 (map 54)
GPS: S 47164 98542 (Accuracy - 5m)
Longitude: 7° 17' 48.65" W
Latitude: 53° 2' 7.83" N
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – This is another site that I saw every day when I was in school. The CBS was located with this tower at one end of the street and Maryborough fort at the other. Built around 1556 this makes the remains one of the oldest structures in Portlaoise. A Reverend Thomas Mosse was listed as being here and his son Bartholomew founded the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin. The Jacobs family are also buried here who also had strong medical connections. John Wesley is alleged to have preached here also. ‘Grant the Robber’, whom I know little about, is also buried here. The remains of a nave and tower survive in poor condition in a much overgrown graveyard. As with the nearby fort it is amazing that more is not done with the site. However, it is in very poor condition and would require a lot of work to be opened up to the public. Unless something is done here it will eventually fall down.

Difficulty – It’s not open to the public but be viewed from the entrance gate and around the general locality.

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It's difficult to get a full view of the tower with these houses in the way.

The graveyard need some attention.

The surrounding walls could also do with some work.

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