Annaghmare Court Tomb

Map Reference: H905178 (2905, 3178)

This court tomb is known locally as the Black Castle and is one of the finest examples of this type of monument. The enclosing cairn is trapezoidal in plan. It is 20m long, 11.75m wide at the south, narrowing to 6.5m across the northern end. A three-chambered gallery, about 8m long, leads northwards from a semicircular court.

The court is about 6m deep and 4m wide. It features the post-and-panel building technique i.e. large orthostats with the spaces between constructed of dry stone walling. This method of construction, where all the gaps in the court were filled, may have had special acoustical properties, which may have been important in ritual. The highest stone in the court is about 1.7m and the highest in the gallery about 1m.

Excavation in 1962-4 showed that the cairn had been extended northwards and two subsidiary chambers had been added. These are accessed from the cairn's long sides. The rough north end of the cairn suggests that a further extension was planned but never accomplished. During excavation a small standing stone was found in the court. It was re-erected but is now missing.

Excavation finds included burned and unburned bone, flints and Neolithic pottery.

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