Eskaheen Portal Tomb

The west-east oriented Eskaheen portal tomb is the largest portal tomb on Inishowen. It is located approximately 3.0 km northwest of Muff in County Donegal, Ireland, near the border with Northern Ireland.

Eskaheen Portal Tomb

The west-east oriented Portal Tomb of Eskaheen, also known as Iskaheen (Irish: Uisce Chaoin, meaning “pure water,” and locally referred to as the “Morton God Dolmen”), is the largest portal tomb on Inishowen. It is located approximately 3.0 km northwest of Muff in County Donegal, Ireland, near the border with Northern Ireland. Portal tombs are megalithic structures found in Ireland and Great Britain, characterized by two equally tall, upright stones with a door stone in between, forming the front of a chamber covered by a partially massive capstone.

The Portal Tomb is situated about 6.0 m from the western end of a trapezoidal cairn, approximately 25.0 m long and 14.0 m wide, with a height of about 0.7 m.

The chamber, covered by a huge, shifted capstone, was approximately 2.0 m long and up to 1.4 m wide. Two portal stones, spaced about 0.3 to 0.5 m apart, stand at its front. The collapse of the northern portal stone caused the capstone to shift, leading both portal stones to lean southwards. Their longitudinal axis is slightly away from the chamber, and it’s unclear whether this is an original feature or a result of the capstone’s displacement. The side and rear walls of the chamber are intact, each consisting of a single stone. A common gabled end stone stands at the eastern side. There are two layers of corbel stones on the northern side stone and the end stone. The capstone now rests only on the northern portal stone and the upper corbel stones on the northeast side of the chamber.

The name of the site remains a mystery, but “Morton” could signify a “townland near the moor or swamp” or be connected to the Vikings, as “Morton” is the Norse word for “Martin,” and Viking settlements have been documented near Quigley’s Point.

  • References

    image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eskaheen_(2).jpg

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