Giants Grave/ Ballyhoneen Wedge Tomb.


Location: This megalithic tomb is located in ‘Loch a Dúin’, which is located on the eastern side of ‘The Conor Pass’. As the sun sets directly into a ‘V’ shaped valley in the distant Brandon mountain range, a shaft of light enters the wedge tomb, illuminating the chamber and the rock art at the head of the tomb. 

Description :  It has been discovered during recent years that this 4,000-year-old tomb is connected with the equinox. Ancient rock was discovered within the tomb, These designs include a single cup-and-circle, twelve shallow cup-marks, two possible cup-marks and a penannular circle. The Wedge tomb is aligned to the setting sun of the equinox.  The Equinox occurs only twice a year. It happens when the plane of the Earth’s Equator passes directly through the centre of the sun’s disc. During this period, Day and night are relatively the same time. This event can be witnessed at sunset for a few days, either side of the equinox. 

Local History: Archaeologist Míchéal Ó Coiléain who has carried out extensive surveys in Loch an Dúin said it was a stunning discovery, providing a fine example of the engineering brilliance demonstrated by the people who constructed it. The  discovery is wonderful and it goes to show that people living 4000 years ago are aware of movements of the sun. They are agricultural communities, so to know when the longest days of the year, the shortest, and when the equinoxes fall is so important. To construct such a perfectly positioned monument required remarkable expertise and knowledge.

 This information was taken from an RTE news article in September 2017:

The Archaeology of the Loch a'Dun Valley paipear nuachta

Route: The route through ‘Loch A Dúin’  in the link below includes directions to the Wedge Tomb.