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The megalith in Cartronplank called Toomnafoirmoire.
The megalithic Giant's Grave at Cartronplank called Toomnafoirmoire, the Grave of the Great Man. The photograph is from the Irish Megalithic Survey of 1960.

Cartronplank Giant's Grave

This Giant's Grave was a huge monument, probably as large as Creevykeel court cairn is located on a farm one kilometer east of Cliffoney crossroads. This crossroads, some 200 meters from the megalith, is the traditional village midsummer bonfire site. There are two wells, a mound and a fine rath close by.

A long gallery and massive end slab stand in a working farmyard, and us sometimes used to store stakes and other fencing materials. The artist William Wakeman illustrated the monument twice. He gives the name Toomnaformire (The Grave of the Great Man), which appears to be a folk memory of the Formorians, who are said to have had fortresses at nearby Mullaghmore and on Dernish island.

Cartronplank court tomb by Wakeman.
Giant's Grave called Toomnaformoire (the grave of the Great Man) one mile from Cliffoney towards the Dartry Mountains. The chamber is divided into two compartments. Highest stone 7 feet.
Drawn for Colonol Cooper by W. F. Wakeman Aug. 1880. Image © Sligo County Library.

The gallery at is Cartonplank is about 7.5 meters long by 2 - 2.5 meters wide, and is entered by a 'pair of well matched jambs'. The chamber was divided into two or three compartments, the end closed off by a massive triangular flag, 2.4 meters high. There are two stones remaining of the court on the south side. Some confusion has arisen in relation to Wakeman's illustrations of these monuments.

Borlase, in his 1895 Dolmens of Ireland, W. G. Wood-Martin mixed up his illustrations when completing his Rude Stone Monuments in 1888 the Creevykeel painting reproduced near the top of the page as an image of Cartronplank.

Wakeman's 1880 illustration of the chamber at Creeveykeel.
Wakeman' s 1880 illustration of the chamber at Creeveykeel. The imposing entry lintol was pushed over by three brothers around 1905, and was replaced horizontally in 1936.

The megalithic monument is close to the summit of Cliffoney hill, and located about 200 meters west of the Cliffoney river, possibly marking an ancient ford. The land drops away down to the shore at Cliffoney beach 1.5 kilometers to the west. There are two wells close by, both within 100 meters of the monument.

Cartronplank court-cairn.
Cartronplank court-cairn.

There are several notable ringforts close by, including a large, well preserved example just 300 meters away on the summit of the hill, a large platform mound some 30 meters in diameter that commands wide views across the surrounding countryside.

William Wakeman's 1880 watercolour of the megalith in Cartronplank called Toomnafoirmoire.
William Wakeman's 1880 watercolour of the megalith in Cartronplank called Toomnafoirmoire.

Megalithic survey Report

This monument was first shown on the 1912 edition of the OS 6-inch map. It is situated on flat arable land, close to a farmstead, about 40m to the S of Cliffony cross-roads. The structure is heavily overgrown and has been used as a dump for rubbish. The East end of the tomb is incorporated in a field fence.

The monument consists of a fairly well preserved gallery preceded at the East by two stones representing the remains of the North arm of a court. The gallery is about 7-30 meters long and narrows from 2-20 meters wide inside the entrance to 2-40 meters wide at the back. There are no traces of a mound around the structure.

Two jambs, set 50cm apart, mark the entrance to the gallery. That at the South measures 1- 10 meters by 90 cm and is 80 cm high. The second jamb measures lm by 20 cm and is 20 cm lower than its fellow. The South side of the gallery consists of six orthostats and the opposite side has one less. Those at the South vary from 70 cm to l-60 meters in length and are from 45 cm to 90 cm thick. Their heights from East to West respectively, are: 50 cm, 50 cm, 40 cm, 30 cm and 8 0cm. The orthostats on the North side are from l meter to l-70 meters in length and 35cm to 80cm thick. Their heights are difficult to ascertain because of the fill in the gallery and the heavy overgrowth. However the two at the W are each about 80cm high and the others are somewhat lower.

Creevykeel from Borlase.
Wakeman's watercolour of Creeveykeel was confused with Cartronplank by W. G. Wood-Martin. Illustration from Borlase, Dolmens of Ireland.

A corbel rests above the second and third orthostats from the West. This is 1-15 meters in maximum dimension and 30 cm thick. East of this are three stones, lying tipped into the gallery, which may be displaced corbels. Outside the middle one of these is a small stone, 45 cm long, which may be the top of a sixth orthostat. The West end of the gallery is closed by a massive gable-shaped backstone measuring 2-40 meters by 60 cm and is l-90 meters high. The Wakeman sketch reproduced by Wood-Martin (1888, 151) shows this stone propped above the ground by small blocks set under each end but this unusual device if indeed it ever existed, is not now visible.

The courtstone next to the gallery entrance leans outwards. It measures l-20m by 35cm and is 90cm high. The second courtstone is a more massive block measuring 2-30 meters by l-10 meters and l-20 meters high. A stone, l-20 meters in maximum dimension rests against the two courtstones.

Wood-Martin noted a line of boulders crossing the gallery towards its West end but no trace of these remains. The number of chambers in the gallery cannot be established though two would seem more likely than three.

The huge end slab from the megalithic chamber at Cartronplank.
The huge end slab from the megalithic chamber at Cartronplank.