Irish megalithic tombs
These tombs have an open east-facing entrance court which leads into a number of rectangular chambers (up to four). The chambers are roofed on the inside by corbelling. Each of these chambers may contain inhumations and cremated remains. Surrounding these chambers is a low dry stone wall with orthostats at the extremities. Sometimes they are called a lobster-claw cairn
These tombs are generally found in the west and north west of Ireland. Their sloping roof and narrowing walls at one end produce there characteristic wedge shape.
They are mainly located in the northern half of the country. The tomb as a straight sided chamber often narrowed at the rear. The entrance is marked by tall portal stones. On top lies a huge single cap stone resting on the portal stones on the front and sloping at the rear where it rests on the backstone. In the majority of cases the tomb entrance faces the east towards the sunrise. This is not always the case though as many tombs face different directions. Examples of portal tombs include Kilmogue, County Kilkenny; Poulnabrone in the Burren, County Clare; and Knockeen, County Waterford.
|Court Tomb||Passage Tomb||Portal Tomb||Wedge Tomb|
Furthermore there are nearly 1000 unclassified megalithic structures known.
- Shire Archaeology - Irish Megalithic Tombs.