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Parknabinnia Wedge Tomb
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 52° 59' 17.22"   W 009° 05' 43.92"

Nearest town

Corofin

Grid Ref.

R 26443 93605

Map No.

51

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

134

Date of visit

Friday 19 September 2003

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The wedge tomb seen from the south.


This wonderful and well preserved wedge tomb is 20 metres beyond one of those famous dry stone walls that characterize the landscape in the Burren. It's signposted from the road and I think it's one of the most popular wedge tombs in this area. Like most of the tombs in county Clare, it's very much box-shaped and the slabs that make the tomb are pretty thin.
It's 3.50 metres long, 2 metres wide and about 1.20 metres tall.
The entrance faces south-southwest (210°).

UPDATE: June 17th, 2017 - We came here for the first time 14 years ago. It was quite time we payed another visit to this important wedge tomb.
Unfortunately, or luckily, some excavations were in progress at the time of our visit. The fact that this time it was a Saturday was of help because the works were stopped for the weekend, but we had the luck to find the supervisor who explained us what was going on at this site.
The grass and peat had been removed from the surface and the rocks of the Burren appeared. Only the strip before the tomb entrance was untouched.
The tomb faces southwest (215°). To southwest is where Donn, God of Death, would live according to the Irish mythology. For this reason the tombs were aligned to that direction, to make the journey of the dead easier.
The wedge tomb is 3.47 metres long, 1.20 metres tall and 2.43 metres wide at the entrance. It has two long side stones that extend past the length of the burial chamber to form sort of a portico in front of it. It has a backstone and a door stone, the roofstone is covered with a mound of dirt and grass. The whole thing is a perfect box. It is possible to get inside the chamber through a narrow passage between the door stone and the southeast side stone.

The supervisor told us that during the recent excavations two skeletons were found. The skeleton of child was found 8 days before our visit to the west of the tomb. The skeleton of an adult was found the day before our visit to the south of the tomb.
The tomb had a cairn who has disappeared in the centuries, but many other stones were taken away from the site to be used in the construction of the nearby road. Also the side stones were pried open to investigate the tomb or for taking something inside. The supervisor told us that the plan was to mount steel brackets and rods to old the side stones together. This intervention was planned for the Monday following our visit.
I think we were lucky to see the place as we saw it on that day.

The firts 6 photos in this page are from the 2003 visit.


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