Aghmakane Portal Tomb, Armagh, Ireland

Aghmakane Portal Tomb, also known as ‘The Long Stones’ or ‘The Hag’s Chair’, is located near Slieve Gullion in County Armagh. All that remains of this tomb is an impressive three metre tall portal-stone and a 2.4 metre door-stone. The other-portal stone appears to have broken in half and sits beside the overgrown remains of a cashel measuring about thirty metres in diameter. The capstone is no longer in place, but if this wasn’t the case it would make it possibly the tallest portal tomb in Ireland. The cashel would have been built at a later stage, during the iron age, and it appears some stones from the tomb were used in its construction. As far as I am aware there never has been any excavations of this site and this leaves many questions unanswered as some of the stones used in the 1 metre high walls of the cashel may have been used for another purpose prior to its construction. The fact that much of the original tomb was left untouched also leaves us with another question, was it simply that the stones were too cumbersome to be moved or were they of a spiritual, social, or political importance?

Although the structure at Aghmakane is only a glimpse at its former glory there is still a palpable resonance of the importance of this site, and it really is a beautiful place to take in the last few moments of daylight.

GPS: 54.16613, -6.43834

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