Deerpark Court Tomb, in County Sligo, is a large and imposing monument considered by many to be the finest example of a central court tomb in Ireland. It sits on top of a limestone ridge overlooking Lough Gill and is surrounded by a panorama of mountain scenery. A forest plantation has, however, obscured the views somewhat.
Deerpark Court Tomb is built with rough, fissured limestones slabs, few of which exceed 1m in height. It consists of an oval shaped court, 15m in length, with a pair of twin galleries at the east end and a single gallery opposite these at the west end, which give a total length of 30m. An entrance passage links the court to the edge of the remaining kerb stones and is located on the south side of the monument. Each gallery is divided by jambs into two chambers.
The Deer Park Loop or Court Tomb Loop as it is alternatively known, is a lovely forest trail which provides access to an internationally renowned court tomb. The route is located on the beautiful Calry area and affords a great vantage point over Lough Gill.
This walk is easy to navigate and clearly waymarked. The Deer Park trail is suitable for most fitness levels. The first section of the walk is the toughest, rising in a series of hills before leveling out at the archaeological site. As the trail reaches level ground the walker is treated to panoramic views of Lough Colgagh, Lough Gill and the surrounding countryside. The route then returns through the forest to the trail head below.
Did you know?
The Deer Park Court Tomb dates back to 3,000BC. Three internal burial chambers are separated by jamb stones, which fell in the 1920s and now sit near the tomb’s entrance. Many consider Deer Park to be the best ruin of its type in the country. There are further archaeological sites nearby, including a cashel, souterrain and wedge tombs in the adjoining lands.
Deer Park as the name suggests was an enclosure for deer and was an area originally used for hunting by the gentry.
*Sections of this route cross Coillte property, for up to date information on diversions/closures due to tree felling, please visit www.coillteoutdoors.ie