Irish passage tomb complexes commonly occupy commanding positions in the Irish landscape which can include upland locations and spaces bounded by waterways. In their appropriation of these liminal landscape settings, these monuments arguably capitalise upon the sense of sacredness and isolation associated with out of the way places. The liminal character of these places is arguably harnessed for the construction of a monumental landscape and a relationship between the monument and its environment is established for the construction of a bounded space...a complex.
There are multiple spatial levels to this dynamic. While the relationship between the complex and the liminal character of its landscape settings has been well established, the relationship between monuments within their complexes has been comparatively less well explored.
Drawing on examples from the Irish Passage Tomb Tradition, this paper will suggest that the spaces between monuments are liminal spaces and that movement through the complex is manipulated by the inclusion of directive features. As the complex developed, the encounter with the space between monuments became increasingly formalised suggesting increased complexity in terms of how these monumental landscapes were experienced.