[360°, abandoned, ancient, archaeology, Celtic, County Donegal, court tomb, Croaghbeg, heritage, history, Ireland, Irish, megalithic, old, panorama, Pontabane Cairn, rural, Shalwy, sky out, stones, SW Donegal, tombs, valley, virtual reality, world wide panorama, >500 >1,000 views]
These ancient stones are in the Shalwy Valley, near the village of Kilcar: in the South West of County Donegal, the most North Westerly county in Ireland.
Croaghbeg is a Megalithic stone structure known as a “full-court tomb”. It was uncovered and investigated by archaeologists between 1969 and 1973.
That excavation revealed a long cairn – about 40m – with the two chambered gallery shown here, and a subsidiary chamber on the NW side of the court.
The site is also sometimes referred to as Pontabane Cairn. (I think perhaps the hump that existed here before the excavation was called “Pontabane Cairn” and what was revealed by the excavation was named “Croaghbeg Tomb”. But that is just speculation on my part.)
Looking in you can see the massive stones that form the sides and back of the chambers. They are each about 2m in diameter. The lintel stones at the entrance and between the chambers are each about 2.5m wide and almost a metre thick.
This is one of three Megalithic tombs in the Shalwy valley, which lies on the road from the fishing port of Killybegs to Slieve League about 6km West of Killybegs and about 3km East of the village of Kilcar .
Based on its style of construction it is likely that Croaghbeg was built about 6,000 years ago – about 1,000 years before work started on Stonehenge or the great Egyptian pyramids.
History of this Image
Photographic Method and Processing detail
The panorama was created by combining 27 separate digital photographs covering every angle and with bracketed exposure. Hence the HDR effect with detail both in the most brightly lit areas and in the shadows.
Eight separate “shots” were taken: six horizontal at 60° intervals, one down into the tomb and one up at the sky. Each “shot” was actually three bracketed exposures: a middle, a +2 stops and a -2 stops.
Hugin delegates the generation of the High Dynamic Range effect to a program called “Enfuse” which does the exposure blending it is a close cousin of the “Enblend” program that it invokes for blending the joins.
The Source images were shot in Raw-mode on a Canon EOS 5d DSLR with a 16 mm M42 fisheye lens, and were stitched and blended into a HDR Panorama using Hugin – a free open-source panorama stitching program.