Visited 12th May 2012 - on the drive from Wexford to West Cork after an overnight ferry stop. Inspired to visit by Ken Williams' beautiful photos, this site fully lives up to expectations. Magical seems to be the only word to describe it - enclosed in a small grove of oak trees, bluebells and stitchwort all around, foxgloves waiting to open, there is indeed something faery-like about the place. It is a magnificent portal tomb, comparable to Carreg Samson on the other side of the Irish Sea.
Situated near the Waterford county border, take the R682 keeping an eye out for a green lettered heritage sign. Take a signposted turning off this road on the way to Tramore - keep driving until you see another heritage sign pointing the way. The nearby house/farm has had stone walls built with large security gates seeming to obstruct the lane up to the dolmen. Do not be put off - they have built a gap into the stone wall for people to walk through, then just a few metres up the lane. Well signposted.
Stop number 2 on the Tramore 'Dolmen Drive'
WOW, what a Portal Tomb and what a setting!
We parked outside the very posh electric gates and I walked through the entrance on the left and up the newly tarmac drive leading to the posh house. A short walk up the drive and a sign points the way on the left. There is an info board to read and a kissing gate to walk through.
As you walk through the trees the tomb suddenly jumps out at you and it really was a 'wow' moment for me. The tomb sits in a cleared wooded area – lovely in the summer sunshine.
The tomb is at least two metres high and about 5 metres in length. There are 5 uprights – 3 of whom support the large capstone. The capstone is way above head height. Gaulstown reminded me a little of Pentre Ifan in west Wales. Although there has been some concrete work done to support the stones this does not detract from its wonder.
Someone had recently visited this site before me as there were several tea lights still aflame inside the tomb.
This is another 'must visit' site. Access is easy and the tomb is a cracker.
Not as easy to find as I had thought, though it is well signposted once you get near to it. The portal tomb is fantastic, in a secluded little grove all of its own it seems to enjoy a little protection from the elements and agriculture/development. Because you cant see it until you are right beside it it seems all the more impressive and imposing when you do reach it after the anticipation of walking up the trackway and through the gate.
It has been rebuilt and supported of course, but most of the evidence is hidden inside the tomb or covered in moss and undergrowth so that from the outside it looks pretty much untouched.
While I struggled to get photos while crouched in the bushes and wearing a pair of gloves to stop my fingers freezing off (surely the one great advantage of plastic camera bodies!) I wasnt getting photos as good as this tomb deserves. I was about to pack up and leave when a torrential shower poured down on top of me, the choice was either to make a run for the car or get inside and hope for the best! The ugly concrete beam inside the tomb doesnt add much to the feel of the tomb, but it makes a practical seat right between two uprights, giving great shelter!
Once the rain had stopped I decided to try using the flash in wireless mode after fiddling around with it inside during the shower. The first few looked promising, part of the tomb is under the cover of a tree and shaded from the light, the photos looked a lot more balanced with a bit of illumination over this part to the front of the tomb, and under the capstone. Getting in closer and as low as possible from the opposite side, facing the sun, I could feel the tomb looming over me and with the widest possible angle I got a few shots that really show the carachter of the place and the dominance of the tomb. At last! All thanks to the rain and bitter wind :)