This is my first Ogham (pronounced Oyam) stone and I was not impressed at first. It is very hard to make out the inscription (what did I expect after over 1000+ years?), but the stone it self is fantastic.
On reflection now, I want to go back and decipher the message (I don't think this is possible) and I look upon it as one of my favourite things. The stone itself would be a fantastic addition to the standing stone page.
I am glad to see that they have cleared the forestation from around it, but I am not sure if this is a permanent thing or not.
It was a coin flip whether to come here or go to Boleycarrigeen (County Wicklow) and as the light was fading fast I decided to head here. We had done a few circles and so an ogham stone was an extra bonus. It also gave me an excuse to come and get a photo with somebody standing by it for scale.
A stone (usually erect) with Ogham script carved on it. They are usually monuments dating from the Iron Age with the inscription being a dedication to somebody, probably a memorial. They often simply state a persons name and pedigree in the form of Fred Son Of Roger Son Of Herbert.
Quite often these are re-used Bronze Age (or earlier) standing stones. As they are often associated with ecclesiastical sites and that the writing seems to be dated from the period starting around 300 CE, many think that it was in fact brought to Ireland by the first Christian missionaries, while other still refer to it as the writing of Druids.
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Another quick stop while passing to take a GPS reading. If you do intend visiting this site be careful as you walk across the clearing to the stone, because it's not all that clear: there are many broken branches lying beneath the grass that are potential ankle-breakers!
From Donard head east towards the Glen of Imail. At the junction with the third road to the right park up at the entrance to the forest on the left. Walk up the path for just 100m or so. If you are lucky then the stone will be visible to your right. If not then dive into the trees and start looking!
This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.
Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.
Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.
The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.
UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.
ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.