Rostellan Portal Tomb




N 51° 51' 25.98"   W 008° 10' 57.9"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

W 87412 67240

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Thursday 20 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

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On June 1st, 2010, we gave up getting to the portal tomb when we were about 200 metres away from it, but we took a photo anyway. This is the photo that witnesses that attempt, with a lot of zoom and slighlty cropped.

This was our second attempt to visit this amazing and unique portal tomb, and it was our second failure. Its uniqueness is that it stands in an estuary and the water can almost submerge it all during the high tide. I think that this area wasn't subject to water invasion when the pre-historic people erected this tomb. The monument is very similar to the St. Declan's Stone boulder burial in county Waterford.
On June 1st, 2010, we tried to reach it by walking on the path from the village of Saleen, but the path disappeared some hundreds metres before the tomb and the salty mud of the estuary was too soft for us to proceed.
This time we thought to reach the tomb by crossing the river at the low tide, but we were out of time and the tide was a little too high and rising, so we only took some photos from the road across the river.
We hope to be luckier next time.

UPDATE: June 9th, 2016 - At last, I would dare to say!
At the third attempt to reach this amazingly located portal tomb we made it, but it hasn't been easy.
I chose the right time of the day to visit the tomb because of the tide. When we arrived at Rostellan it was the moment of the low tide, but we took not less than two hours to find the monument which is nearly unreachable. First we followed the path in the forest park, but we realized that it was the wrong way, we tried along the edge of the forest park but it was misleading, then we found a man who led us to the tomb not without some indecision. When we found it he left, and we got lost on the way back! A nightmare, but I think it was worth it.
The tide was rising when we arrived at the portal tomb but we were still in time to walk around it and get some photos.
The tomb is made by three upright stones and a capstone. Two of the orthostats support the capstone, the third orthostat is at the west (270°) end of the tomb and is either the portal stone or the rear stone.
The monument is 1.79 metres tall, about 2 metres long near the base and 1.88 metres wide on the east side.
The upright stones bear the marks of the high tide level which submerges the portal tomb by at least 1 metre. Seaweeds cover most of the submerged part of the stones and give the tomb an alien look. The mud around the stones is particularly adhesive to boots and smelly!

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