The Carrowroe Portal and Wedge Tomb near Headford in County Galway are ancient burial sites that date back to the Neolithic period, about 5,000 years ago. They are among the many megalithic tombs that can be found throughout Ireland, but they are especially interesting because of their ruinous state and their location on a scenic hill.

Portal tombs and wedge tombs are two types of megalithic tombs that were built by the prehistoric people of Ireland. They are usually composed of large stones arranged in a chamber, covered by a mound of earth or stone. The chamber was used to bury the dead, along with offerings and artifacts.

Portal tombs are also known as dolmens. They have two or more upright stones supporting a large horizontal stone, forming a portal-like entrance to the chamber. The chamber is usually rectangular or polygonal, and sometimes has a back-stone closing it off. Portal tombs are mainly found in the northern half of Ireland.

Wedge tombs are named after their wedge-shaped appearance. They have a long, narrow chamber that narrows towards the back. The chamber is usually divided into sections by cross-stones, and sometimes has a double wall. The entrance is often flanked by upright stones or pillars. Wedge tombs are mainly found in the western half of Ireland.

The Carrowroe Portal and Wedge Tomb are located on a rise near the town of Headford, which are now incorporated into a field wall, and are very ruined. However, you can still see some features that indicate their original structure.

The portal tomb has two stones in situ: a portal-stone and a side-stone from the chamber. Another stone similar to the latter is leaning against a nearby wall. The horizontal stone that would have formed the roof is missing.

The wedge tomb is even more damaged. Only a tall stone and a short stone remain upright. They stand on a small bump in the middle of the field, which is presumably what is left of the cairn.

Despite their poor condition, these tombs offer a glimpse into the past, and a chance to imagine how they looked when they were built. They also offer a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside, which has not changed much since ancient times. The tombs are located on private property, so please seek the landowner’s permission in advance of visiting and please be respectful of the landowner’s property and do not damage or litter the site.


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Carrowroe Portal & Wedge Tomb



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