Wedge tomb
Co. Clare
Nearest town: Caherconnell
Nearest village: Carron
Map references: M2303

Poulaphuca ImageClassical example of a wedge tomb, built with a large slab forming each side and a great roof-stone

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This fine little wedge tomb dated around 2500 BC lies on the limestone uplands of the Burren in north-west Clare, a few kilometres south of Ballyvaughan.
     Wedge tombs are named for their wedge-shaped plan: they are narrower and lower towards the rear. In this region excellent large slabs are readily available on the surface crag, so many wedge tombs like the one at Gleninsheen are built with a single large slab forming each side and a single great roof-stone. This gives a special neatness to these monuments especially as the tops of the sidestones are chipped to a straight line.
     The entrance of Gleninsheen points roughly towards the west, while the magnificent Poulnabrone dolmen (which can be seen going further south on the R480, on the same side of the road), as most other Irish portal and court tombs, are generally built facing to the eastern half of the compass.
     It is worth mentioning that on the same area there are over seventy megalithic tombs. Within a few hundred metres of Gleninsheen are two other wedge tombs: one is not very well preserved (east of the pictured grave), while the other is still covered by its cairn (to the north-east).
     In 1932, in a rock crevice near this area a farmer found the famous Gleninsheen Collar: a 31cm gold gorget, probably a neck ornament, dated to about 700 BC and now on display at the National Museum in Dublin.

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