Corracloona Megalithic Tomb, Leitrim, Ireland

Corracloona Megalithic Tomb, also known as Prince Connell’s Grave, dates from around 2000-1500BC and is located on a slope overlooking Lough MacNean in Leitrim. It is a very charming and unusual tomb in many respects. Firstly it has never really been clearly classified, to most its a court tomb, to some a court cairn, others have described it as a wedge tomb. It has a small courtyard leading into the only burial chamber, which still has its door stone in place. What makes Corracloona more intriguing than most is that the door stone still remains and also has a large hole in the bottom, called a ‘kennel-hole’, these are far more common in tombs in the south of France and Belgium, and I am unaware of any others in Ireland. The reason for the hole may have been for later burial, for offering gifts, or for talking to the dead, it is of course also a possibility the hole could b an accidental break, but when one passes through it there certainly is the sense that its meant to be there.

The origin of the name ‘Prince Connell’s Grave’ (aka Connall) is unknown, it has been alluded to that it is the grave of Conall Gulban, the 5th century ruler of the Cenél Conaill, later known as Tír Chonaill, the area of present day Donegal, which borders Leitrim. However the tomb predates Conall Gulban by at least 2000 years! I have also seen references to it being described as the tomb of the Great Gallagher, a bandit in Donegal in antiquity. The only excavation took place in 1953 which uncovered Neolithic hollow scrapers, arrowheads, flint and coarse pottery however no human remains were found.

Overall the boggy site that surrounds this beautiful tomb is captivating and really fires the imagination, so many unusual embankments and what look like boundary lines can be envisaged in the surrounding land that there is a definite sense that there is far more to this place than what is seen on the surface.

GPS: 54.33482, -8.00453

 

4 thoughts on “Corracloona Megalithic Tomb, Leitrim, Ireland

  1. What a wonderful adventure you take me on! I really enjoy your insights into what you are seeing. Each is a wonderful window into history. Thank you.

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