Matthewstown, alongside the Harristown and Carriglong Passage Tombs, is one of three tombs in Waterford that date from the later Bronze Age unlike most other passage tombs in Ireland which are Neolithic. These three tombs are more similar in design to those found in Cornwall or on the Scilly Isles than in Ireland, which indicates how important seafaring must have been to their builders. One of the reasons it is deemed similar to these tombs is that the 6 metre passage and its chambers are one and the same. The passage is about 2 metres in width and is formed by 10 short orthostats, five on each side, the passage is ends at a massive back-stone. Unlike Harristown tomb which has two roof stones, Matthewstown has three. Four more stones lie to the west of the structure, perhaps a kerb/part of a cairn that may have enveloped the site at some stage in its antiquity, judging by their position the cairn would have been about 10 metres in diameter.
Locally the tomb is know as ‘Thomas McCabe’s Bed’ but I am unsure of the origins of this name. As is common enough with these sites a local story states that a farmer once decided to move the stones and brought a horse and cart with him for that purpose, the horse dropped dead. A second horse was brought to help move the stones but refused to enter the field, so here the stones have stood since then, now in the middle of what is a rather large pig farm! In regards the pig farm they seem to be okay with people visiting the site but perhaps a quick hello and a point in the right wouldn’t go amiss as it took us some time to reach it without going the direct route through the farm!
GPS: 52.17589, -7.22718