Cavan Burren Park - The Calf House Portal Tomb




N 54° 15' 53.76"   W 007° 53' 06.48"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

H 07484 35130

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Thursday 6 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

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Looking at the portal tomb from the northeast corner of the field.

What a day!
When we started our day at the Cavan Park the weather was rather good and dry, but as soon as we began the tour in the park it started raining very heavily and we had to wait nearly 3 hours in the car for the rain to ease off.

A modern footpath has been built to reach this wonderful portal tomb, which stands to the west of a ruined old house. The tomb's conditions aren't good, but nonetheless it is still impressive.
There are two huge portal stones, matching in size and shape, on the south-southwest (210°) side. They both open outwards, almost forming the initial part of a court. When the portal tomb was intact they would give the entrance a welcoming feeling.
They are both about 2.10 metres tall and 2.20 metres wide, and are about 60 centimetres apart.
The entrance side of the tomb is now part of a more modern boundary wall, and another wall departs from the west portal stone and runs to the northeast.

The large capstone, measuring about 4 metres square, has slipped to the east and now rests on one of the two portal stones and one of the side stones.
The gap between the two portal stones have been walled up with smaller stones, as has been the gap under the displaced capstone on the east side, in order to build a wall that, along with the rest of the collapsed structure, may form a closed chamber used to house calves, hence the name.

On the opposite side of the forest track from the old house and the tomb is an erratic boulder known with the name Doirnín Fionn, Irish for "Fionn's Fist". It is named after the mythological warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill and its shape might remind of a fist.

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