Two court tombs/cairns

Known locally as Cohaw giants grave this monument consists of two back to back single court tombs. The court tombs stood within an almost 25 metre long rectangular cairn. Built as two single court tombs, each with a gallery consisting of two chambers, a fifth chamber was added between the two galleries giving the appearance of a five chambered dual court tomb. There are a number of post holes marked out with small wooden posts and in the northern court, see below, there are two socket holes which once held pillarstones. The first image below was taken from the south court looking north along the galleries. A sill stone lies between the two portal stones, there is another sill stone between the two jambs that divide the gallery into two chambers. At the end of the each gallery is a backstone. All the roofstones are missing, it is believed the site was used by the county council to quarry stones for road construction. The cairn that one covered the structure approximately started at the fence that now surrounds the monument.

During excavations in 1949 a neolithic pot and cremated bones were unearthed. The two courts stand in a north south alignment. The orthostats on the east side of the south forecourt are now only fragmentary. The north court is in much better condition, see image below right. Almost all court tombs are found in the northern half of Ireland. The are some excellent examples of this type of monument in Northern Ireland, where they are known as court cairns. Creevykeel in County Sligo and Annaghmare in County Armagh are a fine examples of a single court tomb, Aghanaglack in County Fermanagh is a fine dual court tomb. Rathlackan, Clontygora, Ballymacdermot and Magheraghanrush are also recommended.

The south court

The north court

Situated: Approximately 4 kilometres south east of Cootehill on the R 192 road to Shercock. This tomb is visible from the road and sign-posted with a small car park on the opposite side of the road.

Discovery Map 28A: H 6428 1248. Last visit Jan 2003.

Longitude: 7° 1'5" W

Latitude: 54° 3' 27" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey and José Gutiérrez.

Ref: Kilbride-Jones, H. E., and E. Keenan. “Double Horned Cairn at Cohaw, County Cavan.” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, vol. 54, 1951, pp. 75–88. JSTOR,

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