MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
OF IRELAND.COM
AUDLEYSTOWN DUAL COURT TOMB
AUDLEYSTOWN DUAL COURT TOMB, COUNTY DOWN
M M I
PHOTO by Pip POWELL
2009
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CO-ORDINATES
54 22' 40.228"N...5 35' 49.041"W
This classic example of a Dual-Court Tomb at Audleystown (NISMR No. DOW
031:007), orientated NE - SW with its wider end at the SW, is located in the SW corner
of a pasture field, 200m from the shores of Strangford Lough and about 6 miles
north-east of Downpatrick. The tomb has a segmented gallery and forecourt at either
end, with a wedge-shaped cairn, revetted with neat dry-stone walling and survives to a
height of about 1m. The forecourts contain blocking rubble, lying on a roughly paved
surface and the two burial galleries are each segmented into four chambers by sill &
jamb construction. The end stones are gabled to support the roof, but the lintels do not
survive. Excavations in 1952 found burials in all but two of the segments of both
galleries and consisted of a mixture of human bones and teeth, mammalian bones,
artifacts, burnt earth and charcoal. The fragmentary human bones represented 34
individuals of both sexes, 17 individuals were found buried in each gallery, but all were
disarticulated in such a way as to suggest that they must all have been de-fleshed before
being deposited in the tomb, and some were burned. Abundant grave goods were found
associated with the burials and they included sherds of pottery from 15 vessels and
worked flint sherds. A bone of a horse was also found, the only one discovered in
Ireland to date from before the Bronze Age.