Audleystown Court Cairn

Downpatrick, United Kingdom

Audleystown Court Cairn is a dual court grave situated near the south shore of Strangford Lough. It is a, now roofless, trapezoidal long cairn, with the sides revetted by dry-stone walling almost 27m long and a shallow forecourt at each end opening into a burial gallery of four chambers.




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Founded: Prehistoric
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

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3.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

margaret colquhoun (15 months ago)
Good but hard very hard to access plus the corridor of black flies
Lolly Spence (16 months ago)
Peter Moore (3 years ago)
Audleystown Cairn – although it goes by a multitude of names and descriptions; horned cairn, court cairn and court tomb is a wonderful little site, also could be used for a nice picnic overlooking Strangford Lough. The site is accessed by a narrow laneway from the Audleystown Road that leads to a small car park. From here the site is accessed by foot (so make sure you have appropriate footwear!) the walk to the site has flattened and discoloured the grass slightly, so it shouldn't be difficult to find. The site is two fields away from the parking area and at the end of the first field outcrops of gnarled trees stand guard like ancient statues. The first thing I noticed when I have parked at the small bay area are the views over the Lough; Chapel Island stands out with its strange looking hump, distant towers dot the landscape and I could sit here and simply take it all in. However, I proceed towards the monument, using the small and narrow muddy track that has been trampled into the long pasture grass. Almost tucked away in the corner surrounded by a green fence lies the dual court tomb. The site has two (segmented) galleries and forecourts at each end. The site was excavated in 1952 and found that the forecourts contained blocking rubble lying on a roughly paved surface. Excavation also uncovered burial deposits in most, but not all, of the chambers; “…including burned and unburned human bones, animal bones, pottery fragments, flint implements and earth. The human remains represented about 34 individuals, male and female adults and children, one of the largest collections of human remains ever found in a prehistoric burial.” (NIEA, 2009). The cairn material of local stone survives to a height of approximately two to three feet around the chambers and would have covered the entire monument. Excavation also uncovered pottery and flint artifacts including arrowheads and end scrapers that were undoubtedly funerary offerings.
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