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Labbacallee wedge tomb
Leaba Chaillí
11. Labbacallee Wedge Tomb, Co. Cork.jpg
Labbacallee Wedge Tomb, County Cork
Location County Cork, Ireland (next to tom's house)
Type Wedge tomb
History
Periods Bronze Age
Site notes
Public access Yes
National Monument of Ireland
Reference no. 318

Labbacallee wedge tomb (Irish: Leaba Chaillí, meaning hag's bed) is a large pre-historic burial monument, located 8 km (5.0 mi) north-west of Fermoy and 2 km (1.2 mi) south-east of Glanworth, County Cork, Ireland. It is the largest Irish wedge tomb and dates from roughly 2300 BC.

Features

The site has three large capstones which slope downwards towards the back, the largest being 7.8 m (26 ft) long and weighing 10 tonnes (9.8 long tons; 11 short tons). The gallery below is made up of a large rectangular chamber, with a small one behind it, divided by a slab. The gallery is triple-walled, buttressed at the back by three slabs set parallel to the axis of the tomb. To the front of the gallery are the remains of a large rectangular unroofed antechamber which is wider than the gallery and separated from it by a large slab. Outside this there was a further row of stones running off at an angle, but few of the original stones remain.

Excavations

In 1934 excavations revealed a number of inhumations, fragments of a late Stone Age decorated pot, and fragments of bone and stone. Local folklore associates the site with the Celtic Hag-Goddess Cailleach Bheur, and during the excavations the site was found to contain the remains of a woman. Although the body had been positioned within one chamber of the tomb, her skull was found in another chamber.

Sources

  • Noonan, Damien (2001). "Castles & Ancient Monuments of Ireland", Arum Press. ISBN: 1-85410-752-6
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