Annaghmare Court Tomb, Armagh, Ireland

Annaghmare Court Tomb sits at the centre of a small planted wood near the border of Armagh and Monaghan. Its name in Irish is Achadh/Áth na Marbh ‘the fort of the dead’, it is also known as the Black Castle or the Horned Cairn in local folklore. Annaghmare is one of the finest examples of a court tomb in Ireland and wasn’t excavated until 1963. The whole site is enveloped in a trapezoidal shaped cairn 20 metres in length, its width varies from almost 12 metres at the court end and 6.5 across the north, it measures around 2 metres in height. The court is marked with several orthostats, and sections of dry-walling. Two portal stones flank the entrance into the three chambered gallery, measuring around 8 metres in length. There are two later chambers at the north end of the cairn, which would have been entered by two side entrances. During the excavations at Annaghamre, cremated and unburned human bones were found, along with late neolithic pottery, flint scrapers and a bear’s tooth. Annaghmare is a delightfully situated tomb, the surrounding woods create a natural echo and when the birds sing its a captivating but somewhat unnerving cacophony.

GPS: 54.10169, -6.61729

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